While on the surface, the stories are quite different, both Chopin's and Perkins's stories address the stultifying world for married women during the Gilded Age. In Chopin's brief story, the woman—Mrs. Mallard—has neither a happy nor tragic marriage from all accounts. The key is that she does not feel free until her husband is reportedly killed in a train accident. The hour between hearing of his death and seeing him cross the threshold seems to be the only time in her life in which she could imagine living for herself. The story's climax involves Mrs. Mallard's contemplation of a future of personal agency, ironically undermined in the last two paragraphs:
Her fancy was running riot along those days ahead of her. Spring days, and summer days, and all sorts of days that would be her own. She breathed a quick prayer that life might be long. It was only yesterday she had thought with a shudder that life might be long.
In Perkins's story, the husband, John, has a far more damaging effect...
(The entire section contains 3 answers and 707 words.)