Kate Chopin's Definition Of Marriage

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The Modification of the Definition of Marriage
Cornell University Law School defines marriage as, “The legal union of a couple as spouses. The basic elements of a marriage are: (1) the parties’ legal ability to marry each other, (2) mutual consent of the parties, and (3) a marriage contract as required by law” (“Marriage”). The definition of marriage is very permissive, allowing society to build up on its definition. Literature in the 19th century, such as Charlotte Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour”, give the readers of the 21st century a detail insight of the life of a 19th century typical housewife and 19th century marriage. The definition of marriage in the 21st century is very disparate from that of the 19th century, and is shown through the works of these women. The difference in the concept of marriage is very apparent, hence the wives in the stories were subdued domestic caretakers, while their husbands were repressive breadwinners, each in their separate spheres. Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”, revolves around the life of a housewife that is unable to fulfill her wifely duties because of her nervous condition. To the readers it seems as if the story itself is the narrator’s secret journal, where she relieves her mind. She began the story as a
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In “The Story of an Hour”, Louise receives the news of her husband’s death. She wept as soon as she heard of her husband’s death and after weeping in her sister’s arms she left to her room alone. While in her room, she gained an understanding of what her husband’s death meant, she could now live a worthy life without her constraining husband. This was all to great to be true, she was asked to come downstairs by her sister. As she descended, her husband walked through the door, and she died “of heart disease- - of the joy that kills”
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