In the stories of Editha, The Story of An Hour and The Yellow Wallpaper the realism technique of writing is demonstrated by the omission of fixed, idealistic endings of stories that aren’t realistic. The authors incorporate their characters’ lack of freedom and tragic endings in these stories, which in turn leads readers to experience a realistic conclusion as opposed to an idealistic one.
Editha written by William Dean Howells, is a short story of a young woman’s naïve views about war and heroic love. Editha foolishly wants her fiancée George, to prove his love for her and believes that going to war would be “the completion of her ideal of him” (p 372). She views love as an act that must be established by a heroic deed as the author
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Loss of freedom along with a heartbreaking ending is also prevalent in The Story of an Hour, written by Kate Chopin. In this story, a woman who has a heart condition has just received the news that her loving husband has been killed in a train accident. When she retreats to her bedroom in mourning, she experiences feelings of deep sadness followed by a fearful sense of freedom. The author explains, “She was beginning to recognize this thing that was approaching to possess her, and she was striving to beat it back with her will…When she abandoned herself a little whispered word escaped her slightly parted lips. She said it over and over under her breath: ‘Free, free, free!’” (p 539). Mrs. Mallard lives during a time in which woman lack freedom because of their subservient roles in society. Her feeling of captivity can also be attributed to the human nature aspect that couples naturally impose their beliefs and desires upon each other, as described by the author, “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” (p 540). The end of this story has a bizarre twist. As the proposed widow is preparing for her new found possession of self-assertion, her husband, who was not involved in the accident after all,