Papers

Compare and Contrast

Lauren Ehlers Dr. St. John English 102 March 25, 2011 Marriage; a road to imprisonment Kate Chopin’s “Story of an Hour,” and Charlotte Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” present similar plots about two wives who have grown to feel imprisoned in their own marriages. “The Yellow Wallpaper,” focuses on a woman who feels so entrapped in her own marriage that she begins to feel this type of isolation and imprisonment all around her.

She begins to feel as though the room, in which she is being forced to stay in is a prison in itself. “Story of an Hour,” has a similar plot of a woman in an unhappy marriage. This woman however, momentarily escapes her unhappiness when she comes to find out that her husband was thought to have been killed in an accident. The woman’s sudden freedom stemming from life without a husband to hold her back is short lived though, since she finds out at the very end that it is all a mistake.

In the stories “The Yellow Wallpaper,” and “Story Of An Hour,” Gilman and Chopin use the same theme in discussing the lack of freedom that was given to women during this time period while using different forms of symbolism and different characterization methods such as types of conflicts, to introduce and describe the burdens the women had to face in each individual story. Theme is a very important part of fictional writing, and these two stories share a similar theme of women trapped in unhappy marriages.

Both stories are about two women with successful husbands who feel suffocated by their lack of ability to live their own lives or make their own decisions. Chopin follows this theme through the main character that, in light of her husband’s death appears more cheerful at the fact that she can live her life free of the restraints her husband had put on her. “There would be no one to live for during these coming years,” she states as she reflects on the fact that she has just been informed of her husband’s death ( Kirszner and Mandell).

Gilman follows this theme through the main character in a bit of a different way, by describing the resentment she feels toward her husband ascending from the fact that he has under minded the illness that she believes herself to have, and will not allow her to make her own decisions when it comes to the things she would like to do on a day by day basis. For example, he tells her when to eat and sleep and will not allow her to see her friends that she wishes to go and visit. “I have a scheduled prescription for each hour of the day,” she states in regards to her husband’s controlling nature (Kriszner and Mandell).

The symbolism of both stories suggests that being married is comparable to being in prison, but these symbols stand for happiness in freedom with Chopin and misery and isolation with Gillman. The first use of symbolism by Chopin is when the wife returns to her bedroom after being informed of her husband’s death and takes in all of the spring weather that she can see from her chair. ” There were patches of blue sky showing here and there through the clouds. ” (Kriszner and Mandell). This seems to be a more conventional symbol, suggesting happiness, freedom, or a new beginning.

In contrast, Gilman uses much more literary symbolism in her story. One instance of this type of symbolism is when the main character is describing a child hood chair that she had liked so much. She talks about the safety the chair provides her and how it was always there to comfort her. She states that “I used to feel that if any of the other things looked too fierce I could always hop into that chair and be safe. ” (Kirszner and Mandell). This chair seems to represent much of the same relationship she has with her husband.

The actual wallpaper itself is the biggest literary symbol of all in this story. The yellow wallpaper does not seem to play a large part in the story at first, the narrator simply does not care for it, but as the story progresses it begins to represent more and more the isolation and seclusion that she is feeling in her life. She begins to see a trapped lady inside the paper, desperate to get out. This represents the same feelings she is having at the time, the feelings of being trapped and desperate to escape.

The differences and similarities in the characterization of this story is also an important aspect to compare; with Chopin describing her character through reactions and Gillman describing hers through her actions and conflicts. Chopin describes the main character in “Story of An Hour,” by her reaction to her husband’s death, as well as through her speech and gestures. Her reaction to her husband’s death suggests that she is in conflict with herself in regards to the emotions she is feelings. She feels a new found sense of freedom with her husband gone, but is in conflict in regards to how she feels about his actual death.

Her speech and gestures are also used to describe her character. She continues to repeat “free,” and exits her bedroom in a happy and joyous manner. This characterization makes her a round and dynamic character in this story, much like the round and dynamic character in Gilman’s writing. Although they are both round and dynamic, Gilman portrays the main character by her actions as well as her women vs. man conflict. Every action of the main character in “Yellow Wallpaper,” is that of a woman who feels confined and isolated.

She is constantly looking for ways to defy her husband and escape the confines of the room he has trapped her in. Her feeling of confinement and isolation are the central reasons in her conflict with her husband. Although these two ladies are being described by different characterization and different forms of conflict they also share one main conflict, the conflict they have with society. The women vs. society conflict is shown in Chopin’s story by the wife’s happiness of her husband’s death, and in Gilman’s story by the desire of the main character to hide all of her ideas and appear to abide by the rules of her husband.

This conflict shows two ladies who are burden by society’s expectations at the time, that women should obey their husbands and not live their lives separately from them. Theme, symbolism, and characterization are three important aspects of fictional writings. These two stories share many of the same fictional aspects, while maintaining difference in many others. Having the same theme, but using aspects that are so different from one another is what made these stories interesting in the topic of comparing and contrasting. Work Cited Kirszner, Laurie G. , and Stephen R. Mandell.

Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing. Fort Worth [u. a. : Wadsworth, 2010. Print. Page 198 Kirszner, Laurie G. , and Stephen R. Mandell. Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing. Fort Worth [u. a. : Wadsworth, 2010. Print. Page 395 Kirszner, Laurie G. , and Stephen R. Mandell. Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing. Fort Worth [u. a. : Wadsworth, 2010. Print. Page 198 Kirszner, Laurie G. , and Stephen R. Mandell. Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing. Fort Worth [u. a. : Wadsworth, 2010. Print. Page 397 SMARTHINKING’s E-structor Response Form (Your marked-up essay is below this form. HOW THIS WORKS: Your e-structor has written overview comments about your essay in the form below. Your e-structor has also embedded comments [in bold and in brackets] throughout your essay. Thank you for choosing SMARTHINKING’s OWL; best wishes with revising your paper! *Strengths of the essay: It’s nice to have you back at Smarthinking, Lauren. I am Bianca D. , and I will be helping you with your essay today on “The Yellow Wallpaper” and “The Story of an Hour”. You had an interesting look at the characters in this story in your paper. Let’s see how we can further improve this.

Let’s get started! ? I like how you use appropriate transitional words in order to illustrate a contrast relationship in your paper like in this sentence: In contrast, Gilman uses much more literary symbolism in her story. “In contrast” is a good transitional word to use in order to let your readers know that you will be discussing a difference. Nice work! ? *Lauren 3394880 has requested that you respond to the Main Idea/Thesis: Lauren, let’s first work on your thesis statement to ensure that it clearly identifies the main points that you will discuss in your paper.

This is important because this will help in guiding your readers through your discussion better. Currently, this is your thesis statement: In the stories “The Yellow Wallpaper,” and “Story Of An Hour,” Gilman and Chopin use the same theme in discussing the lack of freedom and choice that were given to women during this time period while using different forms of symbolism and different characterization methodsto introduce and describe the burdens the women had to face in each individual story. There are some things that I suggest you do for your thesis statement to improve it.

First, I would suggest that you put the author’s name beside the story she wrote (e. g. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom). This way, your readers will be able to identify the stories and their respective authors better. Next, you mentioned that Gilman and Chopin use the same these in discussing the lack of freedom and choice that were given to women during this time period. So what is that same theme used? Or do you mean to say that they share the theme of lack of freedom and choice that were given to women during this time period?

Those are two different ideas, so you need to decide which of these you mean to use in your paper and then revise accordingly. Lastly, what are the different characterization methods that you discussed in your paper? Identify these in your thesis statement to make it more specific. So how will you now improve on your thesis statement following the guidelines above? You can read more about Thesis Development here: •Lesson 6. Thesis Development http://www. smarthinking. com/static/Document_Library/docs/writeman/3_06. fm *Lauren 3394880 has requested that you respond to the Content Development: Lauren, let’s now work on content development in order to ensure that you’ve given all needed explanations, details, and examples in order to illustrate your point to your readers better. For example, you wrote: The yellow wallpaper does not seem to play a large part in the story at first, but as the story progresses it begins to represent more and more the isolation and seclusion that she is feeling in her life. So how does the yellow wallpaper begin to represent the isolation and seclusion that the woman is feeling as the story progresses?

You need to explain that so your readers will understand your ideas better. As you work on your paper, please be on the lookout for other areas like this in your paper that you can still build on. Word Choice: Lauren, let’s work on word choice by ensuring that you give specific ideas in your paper, so your readers will have a clearer idea of who you are talking about. With that, I suggest that you use the names of the characters in your paper instead of just saying “woman,” “wife,” “husband,” etc. By doing this, your readers will be able to understand better who the character you’re talking about is.

For example, you wrote: Chopin follows this theme through the main character that, in light of her husband’s death appears more cheerful at the fact that she can live her life free of the restraints her husband had put on her. Who is that main character and how is her husband? Clarify that. As you work on your paper, please be on the lookout for other errors like this. Summary of Next Steps: You already have a good start to your draft here, Lauren. You can work on this paper by focusing on these areas as you revise: •Develop a more specific thesis statement. Always put all the needed explanations in your paper. •Work on more specific word choice. •Proofread well. I hope I was able to help you today, Lauren. Do not hesitate to send your revision to us if you need further help. We’ll be happy to help you again. Good luck on your revision! – Bianca D. Find additional resources in SMARTHINKING’s online library: You can find more information about writing, grammar, and usage in SMARTHINKING’s student handbooks. You can visit the SMARTHINKING Writer’s Handbook or the SMARTHINKING ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) Writer’s Handbook. ****************************************************************************** Please look for more comments in your essay below. Thank you for visiting SMARTHINKING. We encourage you to submit future essays. ******************************************************************************* Comparing and Contrasting Fictional Aspects In fictional writing there are many things that can make two stories seem alike, and at the same time make them appear different. Understanding all of the aspect to fictional writings and how they pertain to each individual story can be helpful in determining similarities and differences between two writings.

Comparing and contrasting the elements of two writings can also be helpful in deciphering the imagery and the true meaning behind the story. In the stories “The Yellow Wallpaper,” and “Story Of An Hour,” Gilman and Chopin use the same theme in discussing the lack of freedom and choice that were given to women during this time period while using different forms of symbolism and different characterization methodsto introduce and describe the burdens the women had to face in each individual story. [Do check for misspelled words. These are usually underlined in red.

You may simply be missing a space in between two words which results to these misspelled words. ] Theme is a very important part of fictional writing and the theme followed by these two writings is very similar. Both stories are about two women with successful husbands who feel suffocated by their lack of ability to live their own lives or make their own decisions. Chopin follows this theme through the main character that, in light of her husband’s death appears more cheerful at the fact that she can live her life free of the restraints her husband had put on her.

Gilman follows this theme through the main character in a bit of a different way, by describing the resentment she feels toward her husband ascending from the fact that he has under minded the illness that she believes herself to have, and will not allow her to make her own decisions when it comes to the things she would like to do on a day by day basis. For example, he tells her when to eat and sleep and will not prevent her to see her friends that she wishes to go and visit. [Is he really not preventing him to see her friends? ]

Although the themes of these stories are much the same, the symbolism in these stories is different. The first use of symbolism by Chopin is when the wife returns to her bedroom after being informed of her husband’s death and takes in all of the spring weather that she can see from her chair. This seems to be a more conventional symbol, suggesting happiness, freedom, or a new beginning. In contrast, Gilman uses much more literary symbolism in her story. One instance of this type of symbolism is when the main character is describing a child hood chair that she had liked so much.

She talks about the safety the chair provides her and how it was always there to comfort her. This chair seems to represent much of the same relationship she has with her husband. The actual wallpaper itself is the biggest literary symbol of all in this story. The yellow wallpaper does not seem to play a large part in the story at first, but as the story progresses it begins to represent more and more the isolation and seclusion that she is feeling in her life. The differences and similarities inthe characterization of this story is also an important aspect to compare.

Chopin describes the main character in “Story of An Hour,” by her reaction to her husband’s death, as well as through her speech and gestures. Her reaction to her husband’s death suggests that she is in conflict with herself in regards to the emotions she is feelings. She feels a new found sense of freedom with her husband gone, but is in conflict in regards to how she feels about his actual death. Her speech and gestures are also used to describe her character. She continues to repeat “free,” and exits her bedroom in a happy and joyous manner.

This characterization makes her a round and dynamic character in this story, much like the round and dynamic character in Gilman’s writing. Although they are both round and dynamic, Gilman portrays the main character by her actions as well as her women vs. man conflict. Every action of the main character in “Yellow Wallpaper,” is that of a women who feels confined and isolated. She is constantly looking for ways to defy her husband and escape the confines of the room he has trapped her in. Her feeling of confinement and isolation are the central reasons in her conflict with her husband.

Although these two ladies are being described by different characterization and different forms of conflict they also share one main conflict, the conflict they have with society. The women vs. society conflict is shown in Chopin’s story by the wife’s happiness of her husband’s death, and in Gilman’s story by the desire of the main character to hide all of her ideas and appearabide by the rules of her husband. This conflict shows two ladies who are burden by society’s expectations at the time, that women should obey their husbands and not live their lives separately from them.

Theme, symbolism, and characterization are three important aspects of fictional writings. These two stories share many of the same fictional aspects, while maintaining difference in many others. Having the same theme, but using aspects that are so different from one another is what made these stories interesting in the topic of comparing and contrasting. [I would suggest that you work on this closing sentence so that it focuses on what you wish to say about the characters instead of on a not on comparing

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