Escape: A comparison of "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin

Essay by guitar_creationsHigh School, 12th gradeA+, January 2007

download word file, 4 pages 3.0

"Women are trying to escape the imprisonment of society and marriage!"

"Women should not have to conform to society!"

These were new thoughts at the time that The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and The Story of an hour by Kate Chopin were written. The Yellow Wallpaper and The Story of An Hour have many similarities and differences. Both of these stories use creative ways to depict women who are trying to escape the imprisonment of society and marriage at the time. These ideas are reflected in areas such as the style of writing. Both stories have similar themes woven into them. They both depict objects the main characters try to escape. Both stories were written with a unique style that best portrayed their message.

In The Yellow Wallpaper, the story is given in the form of a journal. This epistolary view allows readers to get inside the narrators head.

In The Yellow Wallpaper, this becomes the only view. Soon, the narrator's thoughts are the only visible ideas. Reality, events, and effects of actions no longer take place. An epistolary form best captures this view, as in The Yellow Wallpaper; however, in The Story of An Hour, another view is seen entirely. The Story of An Hour is written in a third person perspective. This angle allows readers to watch as events unfold.

"There stood, facing the window, a comfortable, roomy armchair. Into this she sank, pressed down by a physical exhaustion that haunted her body and seemed to reach into her soul"

(The Story of An Hour, 1)

Here, one can mentally picture this event as it takes place. This style is used throughout The Story of An Hour. The two stories and their writing styles can be contrasted to come up with a main focus for each.