Married To Be Alone?
Although marriage is the symbol of two lives¡¦ union, in the real world many people experience it in the opposite way. Gloria Steinem says: ¡§The surest way to be alone is to get married.¡¨ In ¡§The Story of an Hour¡¨ by Kate Chopin, we can certainly realize how well the author describes the loneliness of a marriage. There is another short story that also reflects the same point of view in a relationship; it is William Faulkner¡¦s ¡§A Rose for Emily.¡¨ Both works serve as strong evidence for Gloria Steinem¡¦s opinion.
In ¡§The Story of an Hour¡¨ Chopin implies an idea of that Mrs. Mallard lives as a prisoner. Maybe it is because she grew up in a society in which women used to be properties of men, she has not noticed that fact until she receives her husband¡¦s death news. Marriage did not really unify emotionally her life with her husband¡¦s. This can be seen in the lines, ¡§And yet she had loved him ¡V sometimes. Often she had not¡¨ (8). She lived with this man, saw him everyday, slept by his side every night, but she did not even love him. Is that a how a relationship between a couple supposed to be? All those years she spent with her husband were as alone as being a prisoner; isn¡¦t that sad? But everything is solved (she thought so), as Mr. Mallard is dead, at last she can be liberated from that prison, ¡§Free! Body and soul free¡¨ (8). This is not a usual expression of a woman whose husband has just died; here we can understand how alone she has been. If we learn more about Kate Chopin¡¦s background, we can find out that she lived in the nineteen century, when women¡¦s rights were limited. This story reflects the society in that age, then Mrs. Mallards represents the housewives in that time. Many of them get married with the man they don¡¦t love, and they spend their lives living alone emotionally.
In the other side we have another nineteenth century author, William Faulkner, who also wrote a short story about being alone, even his work does not focus that much on marriage. His idea of ¡§getting married to be alone¡¨ is very strong, too. In ¡§A Rose for Emily¡¨, Faulkner interprets loneliness by telling Emily¡¦s life. This lady goes through several stages in which no word better than ¡§alone¡¨ can describes, even though, she...