Compare and Contrast Argument Essay
In the 20th century women are given much freedom unlike the women in the 1890’s. In the past women are not as liberated as the men and were not privileged to have proper education, right to vote, and the right to be out of the society’s expectations. In the short story the “Story of an Hour” written by Kate Chopin and an essay “I Want a Wife” by Judy Brady discuss on the subject of women and the issues they are facing. These two stories are written in different eras however regardless the time these literatures were published it goes to show that women are still hindered due to the society’s expectations and criteria.
The “Story of an Hour” written by Kate Chopin was written in 1894 where in war was frequent. Women usually stay at home with the children, waiting for the homecoming of their husbands while the men fight for their country with the hope taking home victory against the enemies. In the “Story of an Hour”, Louise Mallard was one of those women waiting for their husbands to come home but suddenly a news came that her husband have died. Knowing that her husband passed away, she was in mourning. However, the story twists as she finds freedom in the death of the husband. In contrast, the essay written by Judy Brady is about her desire as a woman. The essay was written in the 1970’s where in movements for the liberation of women were already present. The essay is a narrative of what she(Judy Brady) wants to experience as a woman—to be given the experience of being provided of the needs that she deserves. Judy Brady discusses that she wants a wife of her own for the reason that all her needs and wants are easily provided if she had one. She expressed in her essay that wives are the best companion a person could have due to their devotion. She highlighted everything that a man could ever want for women but if it interpreted in feminist point of view, Judy Brady aspires for equality for husbands and wives.
Both of the literatures are about women and the struggles they are facing due to the demands and dictation of the society. Louise Mallard was a woman who lived in 1894, was in a society that have conservative and traditional ideals. Louise Mallard, like every women of her time was married; however she and her husband do not have a child to take care of. When the news came that her husband died, she was in deep sorrow, though as presented by these lines: “She could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life. The delicious breath of rain was in the air. In the street below a peddler was crying his wares. The notes of a distant song which some one was singing reached her faintly, and countless sparrows were twittering in the eaves. There were patches of blue sky showing here and there through the clouds that had met and piled one above the other in the west facing her window.”—it seems that she had been freed from some sort of chain braced around her feet.
In a feminist point of view Louise is tied with the society’s expectation of her. Given that she is a woman and a wife, it is expected that she will be able to serve his husband and maybe to provide a child to her husband and eventually take care of the family. Like Louise, most women were tied to their responsibilities and are limited to do things that they wish like being a good mother and a good wife. In the view of Louise’s personality, she is a woman ahead of her time. Through the word used by Chopin, Louise is “repressed”, meaning that she is in need of liberty to be her self. Louise is someone that needs to explore the world on her own and discover things that she or her generation has not experienced yet. Maybe she was someone who did not want such of a big responsibility upon her back. She just wanted to enjoy her life as a single woman but sadly, due to the society’s criteria, a woman of her age must be married and have a child. If she chose to be her real self, she would be harshly excluded by the society and would be viewed as immoral or mad.
Identical to the problem of Louise, Judy finds her self wanting to be “out of the box.” Indicating her desires as a woman—“needing a wife” which means that she needs someone, not literally a woman but a person that would act like a wife and give all she demanded with in her essay. At first the essay appears to be somehow lesbianism but if looked closely, Judy Brady just wanted to express her need for equality with a man. The demands that she has written were mostly needs of men but if reflected, each of those standards are also a need for a woman. Although Judy Brady could be considered a contemporary writer, she still expresses that there is still a standard in which a woman should follow in order to be accepted by the society. Obviously, there is still a box that dictates the duties of a female and the privileges that she could have.
Both of the essay showed that women until now are not completely liberated of what they desire to be. Although there are lots of women movements that advocate women’s rights and gender equality, there is still a bigger portion of the society that sees a woman as someone who gets married and bares a child after wards. Having a family and dreaming of what a normal woman is not a negative thing, but limiting a woman of what she wants to be is incorrect.
Every baby girl when they are born is already given responsibilities and assumed duties by the society. Although there is no written law that states such obligations the society have already been shaped as such. A baby girl, when she has grown to be a woman has only two choices: to be a woman that the society dictates her to be (a wife, a mother with the responsibility to take care of her family) or to a woman that is not expected by the society.
In conclusion, we are human-beings and we have needs. Based in the written works of these authors, men are privileged unlike women. They are not expected to be someone to take care and satisfy the needs of women, men only support the family only through financial support and nothing else. It is disappointing to know that the female are given much more duties while the men are given honor due because they give the family their financial needs. Women are easily judged if they do not follow the society or if they do not provide satisfaction to their family. But if the men are not able to satisfy his family, it is just acceptable otherwise the women are the ones to be blamed. These written works reveal that women, despite of the changing times have not attain gender equality due to the society’s demands.
Chopin, K. (1894). “Story of an Hour”. Retrieved May 24, 2008 rom http://www.vcu.edu/engweb/webtexts/hour/.
Brady, J. (1971). “I Want a Wife”. Retrieved May 24, 2008 from http://www.columbia.edu/~sss31/rainbow/wife.html.