The Story Of An Hour And Trifles

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Women’s role in the household and in the workforce has changed significantly since the years prior to the 1950’s. During World War II, women joined the workforce to replace jobs that were left vacant by men in battle. In today’s society, women have become extremely prominent in the workforce, leaving behind their traditional roles of being the “ideal housewife.” This was how it was for decades, and in the story “The Story of an Hour” and the play Trifles, marriage is portrayed as a binding prison that these women wish to escape. Both Glaspell and Chopin go into the different extremes of how far an oppressed woman would go to free herself from her marriage. In the short story, “The Story of an Hour,” Louise Mallard is given the news that there was a “railroad disaster” (Chopin 283), and her husband was the leading name on the “killed” list. Immediately she begins grieving over her deceased husband, weeping in her sister’s arms. In an instant she realizes that she is free from from her unhappy marriage saying, “...over and over under her breath: ‘free, free, free!’” (Chopin 283). Her terror and grief leaves her and is replaced with “monstrous joy” (Chopin 283) as she recognizes that she had freedom from her oppressive marriage. The front door opened and Louise’s husband, Richard, enters having been unscathed and far away from the scene of the accident. Louise’s sister, Josephine, lets out a piercing cry and Richard turns to see his wife, died of heart disease- “of joy that

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