A Comparison Of A Jury Of Her Peers And The Story Of An Hour

Words: 1058
Pages: 5

During the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century female inequality was generally accepted by society. The unspoken message regarding a woman’s role was that they were better understood if they were seen and not heard. Kate Chopin and Susan Glaspell are both prominent feminist authors who explored the effects of inequality on women’s experiences with marriage. Glaspell’s short story “A Jury of Her Peers” and Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” show that marriage can be oppressive by describing what happens when a marriage suddenly ends. In “The Story of an Hour” Chopin focuses on a middle-aged woman Louise Mallard who sits in her room for one hour to process the news that her husband has been killed in a terrible accident. Instead …show more content…
The irony of “The Story of an Hour” is that Louise Mallard never actually achieves the freedom and independence she imagines during that hour alone in her room. At the end of the story, Mrs. Mallard’s sister convinces her to leave her room and come downstairs. When she reaches the bottom of the stairs her husband walks through the door, and Mrs. Mallard instantly dies of a heart attack from the shock. This ironic twist at the end of the story further cements the notion that Mrs. Mallard cannot truly live as long as she is part of an oppressive marriage. Gladspell uses irony to show that safety, freedom, and support come from sisterhood with other women rather than the law or marriage. Throughout “A Jury of Her Peers” Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters do the majority of the detective work even though their husbands are officially in charge of solving the case. Minnie Wright’s peers focus on aspects of the kitchen that the men dismiss as insignificant, such as an unfinished cooking project. Through intuition the women discover that Minnie murdered her husband for being physically abusive but ultimately decide to keep the crime a secret. Both stories have ironic endings because the main characters’ feelings and situations challenge the conventional beliefs that women are happiest and safest when they are part of a