The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin and Eveline by James Joyce are the two short stories that will be analyzed using feminist criticism in this essay. Both short stories share a lot in common about what the role of women’s was perceived within the time they were written.
In the story The Story of an Hour Mrs. Louise Mallard was told that her husband’s had died from a tragic accident in a railroad and when she finally became at peace with her husband’s death he showed up and their door. She ended up the one who died at the end of the story. There are a few things in this story that can be interpreted from a feminist point of view. The first is she was introduced to the readers as Mrs. Mallard. The only time throughout the story that her name Louise was used was when she finally through she was free and could finally live her life for herself and not have to worry about following a man’s orders. This happen in the story can cause the reader to infer women really don’t have an opinion when their husband is around, so it is no really reason to use their first name to address then after they are married. After women are finally married they must hide behind the married name. Another event that can be viewed as feminist is when Mrs. Mallard was first told about her husband’s death. The passage states “she did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance.” A reader can come to the conclusion that women are being singled out for not being able to take or even accept important news that they hear. The author could have used people generally, but Joyce decided to use the word “women” trying to make sure the reader sees that only women react the way they thought she would to that situation. That statement also can be inferred that men can handle hearing bad news than women can.
When Chopin wrote “she wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment.” The word in that phrase that caught my eyes was “abandonment”. Abandonment in that phrase was used as if Mrs. Mallard had given up on life after losing her husband. It was also used as if without her husband, she is “lost” without a man in her life. It is implied that she was abandoned because as the wife’s role she takes care of the house and kids, whereas the husband is the bread winner and the one who pays all the bills. It’s almost like she is in a sense helpless without a man by her side. Without a man by her side, she is lost and helpless because she no longer has the type of support system she had before he was gone. A reader can also imply by that statement that it is impossible for her to be an in depended woman can do everything he used to do for her and the family by herself. A strong woman would be sad that she lost her husband of many years not considered to be anywhere near being abandoned.
Another statement that in the story states, “There would be no powerful will bending hers in the blind persistence with which men and women believe...