Marriage is considered an essential institution in the society. However, the role of women in marriage has remained an activists’ topic in most of the societies. This topic of women rights in marriages gained interest in the latest years while ancient years, woman had not voice in the society. In those early days, women were supposed to obey their husband and carry on domestic chores. On the other hand, men had the freedom to do as per their will and desire, without objection.
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The three stories; “A Raisin in the Sun”, “To the Ladies” and “The Story of An Hour” have a strong message and an embedded theme on marriage. The authors of the three pieces literature value the importance of marriage and the need to illuminate the challenges that women were facing especially from the husbands. The three pieces have illustrated in a number of ways the traditions that tied women and forced them to conform to the social dictation of norms, values and practices.
Chopin Kate in her story “The Story of An Hour” illustrates the marriage through an encounter of Mr. Millard’s family. His wife is said to have suffered a heart problem for a long time. Therefore, a family member Mr. Richards and Mrs. Millard’s sister Josephine contemplates on the best approach on breaking the news to the sick, in a careful approach that will not exacerbated the patient’s heart problem. The marriage situation is clearly delineated when the Mrs. Millard learn that her husband has died in a railway accident. She is at first, engraved by grief sinks in sobs with the pain of losing her husband. “She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment.” Later, she disengage from her sisters arm an isolates herself in a room sobbing having been controlled she allows her thought wander as she stared at a cloud. The cloud and the rain are symbolically used to reflect to the dark spell of death and tears that hand overwhelmed her (Chopin, 1894).
Interestingly, Mrs. Millard is revived after a while, and rejoices in a rational claim of freedom that comes with being out of marriage “she saw beyond that bitter moment a long procession of years to come that would belong to her absolutely.” Readers have the impression of oppression that accompanied her marriage where “… she had loved him sometimes. Often she had not…” The Hypocrisy in marriage and powerlessness that women faced under marriage is reflected in this story. She later dies “… of the joy that kill …” simply due to mixed feeling of happiness of freedom and husband being alive (Chopin, 1894).
Chudleigh poem is another encounter that illuminates the issue of marriage in the society. The poem majorly illustrates the oppression that the woman suffers after marriage since she is dictated on what to do by her husband. The poem opens with a likening phrase between wives and servants, only differentiated by the names. Once the woman has agreed to accept the marriage terms, the man takes over control over the activities of the woman, who is left with no option other than following orders “When the word obey has said”. Marriage is supposed to be an avenue where individuals are supposed to rejoice and assist each other. However, according to Chudleigh, the woman is subjected to “OBEY” without questioning since the man has the “powers” which bestows and dictates him “to have all the wit” (Chudleigh, 1703).
In those days, marriage could not be broken by divorce, but only death. This illustrates the permanency of marriage and the powerlessness of women in objecting the oppression. The power of woman to determine what is right or wrong in the society is not only in habited at the family level, but also in the government. Complains of marriage raised by women lands on deaf ears, since “the man by law supreme has made”, which refers to the powers bestowed on men by the society. The woman is made to fear the man as though “her God”. In a conclusion, Chudleigh challenges the women to value themselves and rise above the borders of oppression and male chauvinism in the society. She recognizes the imperativeness of valuing themselves so that they can secure a strong ground in the marriage (Chudleigh, 1703).
Hansberry play offers another avenue where marriage and women issues takes constitute a profound theme. The plays shines light on the black American challenges during the years when racism and discrimination on the basis of the economic basis had engraved the American society. Most significantly, is the fact that the actors in the play are in a family setup, which constitute a marriage accord. The principle play in developing the issues of marriage is Beneatha. Walter is also crucial in illustrating the role of men in marriage setup (Hansberry, 1959).
Walter comes in home drunk “Walter returns home drunk”, yet complains of no money “Eat your eggs, they gonna be cold.” She is also feared by the women at one point he is referred to as “Flaming Spear” by Beneatha. Beneatha is also used in the play as an icon of a new generation of women who are adamant to submit to the society dictation of a woman. She astonishes Ruth and Mama, who are symbolic of the old age women, when she says claims that she is not interested in marriage. She goes father to disdain the role of a woman in marriage as household technician, but has to be acknowledged the imperativeness of furthering their education. Women have to embrace the role of moving towards prominent roles in society. Mama also illustrates the importance of marriage, during their talks to praise rich men as the idea counterpart in marriages (Hansberry, 1959).
In conclusion, the three parts reflect the imperativeness of marriage in the society, yet raises qualms on the oppression of women in society. The powerlessness of women to overcome the restrains of traditions is also illustrated in the three literal works, though A Raisin in The Sun seems to break this bond.
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