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Story of an Hour and a Sorrowful Woman

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Relationships are only successful when they are filled with love, trust and commitment to one another. When speaking specifically of marriage, these feelings should be exceptionally strong and the couple should experience unconditional love towards each other for the rest of their lives. However, time tells many couples that this is not always the case and that perhaps their love for one another isn't strong enough to mend their differences. Gail Godwin's "A Sorrowful Woman" and Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour" both revolve around women experience just that and feel trapped within their own marriages. While both protagonists start off as committed and loving women devoted to their family, personal torment eventually lead both of them to death.

In both "The Story of an Hour" and "A Sorrowful Woman," the main protagonist is a woman. Chopin's protagonist Mrs. Mallard is a loving and caring woman who has the desire to have a loving marriage, however societal standards of the time show that even though this is not the case, she must commit to her relationship regardless. Much like Godwin's unnamed protagonist, both women would never abandon their marriage because they feel such a strong sense of responsibility to their role and family. For example, Godwin's protagonist feels guilt for not wanting to be with her son and explains that she's just "not myself anymore" (Godwin, 39). Much along these lines, both women seclude themselves away to deal with their emotional troubles. In "The Story of an Hour," Mrs. Mallard shuts herself away when she mourns the loss of her husband and when she begins to feel glad that he is gone. The sorrowful woman also secludes herself when she cannot stand to see her son anymore. Both women sit near windows in their rooms and watch the world go by them wishing they could be at peace with themselves and find happiness in their relationships. Subsequently, both women also have a need to be freer. Mrs. Mallard feels she is free when she believes husband has passed away because she can now do what she wants and follow her own desires rather than someone else's. The sorrowful woman wishes to be free from her son and eventually her husband by secluding herself in her room and forcing them to only slip notes under the door when they wish to speak to her.


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