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A Misunderstanding In A Male Dominated Century

1110 words - 5 pages

At the beginning of the nineteenth century women were considered inferior to men. An average woman at that time, according to Stephanie Muntone from McGraw-Hill Professional, was not permit- ted to vote or hold office. By law, she had few rights to her own property or her own earnings. She could not take custody of her children in the event of divorce. There were few colleges or professions open to her. When our founding fathers established this nation they declared that everybody was created equally. However, at best, they were a second-class citizen in a republic founded on the principles of liberty and equality. The women fought back, as they should, because nobody should be oppressed because of their gender. They rebelled, withdrew, and raised awareness of the more than obvious mistreatment and unfairness of this situation. Because of this, the argument developed that the women were being disobedient. As recorded in history, during the 1920’s, you had the Sacco-Vanzetti murder case in Boston, you had the "Denver Mint robbery", you had the Ku Klux Klan, and you had Al Capone, the most powerful and prominent gang leader in the 1920’s. The acts these people committed were disobedience. But people obviously thought women, protesting for the equal rights that were given to them in the Constitution were just as bad as the criminals. Kate Chopin, an author, wrote The Story of an Hour during this time of struggle for women. Her story reflects this time period in a way that helps readers understand the dynamics of this movement in American History and how women were emotionally affected by gender differences.
Women being rebellious and standing up for themselves could be caused by the emotional state of their relationship with guys. Kate Chopin indicated that there was distress in the relationship between Mr. Mallard and Mrs. Mallard by writing this:
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 hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature. A kind intention or a cruel intention made the act seem no less a crime as she looked upon it in that brief moment of illumination. (Chopin 13)

Mrs. Mallard, while contemplating over her husband’s death, had thoughts of freedom, freedom from the oppression of her husband. She had these thoughts because her husband was overbearing, overprotective, and completely dominating the relationship. The relationship was not healthy because in the next paragraph Chopin writes the line, “And yet she had loved him – sometimes” (Chopin 13). Mrs. Mallard felt some love after being with this man for years; however, she felt as if she needed to break away from his grip, it was a conflicting feeling for her. She was joyful and feeling great joy after realizing that she would be able to live for herself and not have her husband’s powerful will bending hers. Mrs....

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