The marriage theme in ‘Trifles’ and ‘The story of an hour’

The marriage theme in “Story of an hour” and “Trifles” has one similar concern which shapes the flow of the two stories. This is captured from a feminist point of view where women in both stories lose identity due to the male domination that exists in the bond.

In “the story of an hour”, it is evident that Mrs. Mallard rejoices the chance to regain her lost individuality after the threatening message of her husband’s death. “There would be no one to live for her during those coming years; she would live for herself. There would be no powerful will bending her in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow creature” (Chopin 11). At first, she finds these streams of thoughts quite monstrous, but she later manages to rationalize them due to the lack of identity she experienced in her marriage.

Similarly, this loss of identity is also evident in the “Trifles” where the marriages of Peters, Hale and Wright are featured negatively. Mrs. Hale mentions to Mrs. Peters that, “I heard that Mrs. Wright used to wear pretty clothes which made her lively during her Minnie Foster period and one of the girls singing in the choir. This was thirty years ago” (Glaspell 947). Thereafter, the county attorney declared that because Mrs. Peters is a sheriff’s wife then automatically she is married to the law” (Glaspell 592). Mrs. Hale shows rebellion to her husband’s domination by hiding the evidence in the crime scene. This builds on her evolution of individuality.

Thus, it is evident that there is a clear link between the two themes which concern s loss of identity in most marriages. Mrs. Mallard realizes this early though she does not tackle it before her death. She is suppressed from the desire to enjoy her freedom though it emerges very late in her life. However, Mrs. Hale manages to counter this as she defies the assumed lawfulness in her marriage. She sides with an unexpected female view of hurting reality when she collaborates with the murder suspects. The stories highlight the female imbalance at the climax of the two stories which lead to regaining of the lost individuality.



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