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The Story Of An Hour Essay

1220 words - 5 pages

In the time period where women were treated as property instead of as actual human beings is the basis for a lot of Kate Chopin’s work. Her heterox stance on the world was not liked nor was it approved of but that only makes her work that much more controversial and interesting. In Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” she uses a disturbing scenario to shed light on the way women were trapped in their lives during the turn of the century
“The Story of an Hour” is a tragic tale of loss, the loss of a loved one and the loss of freedom which is a key point in this story. Kate Chopin weaves an intricate tale and uses a view point that most people don’t when their husband is perceived dead. The ...view middle of the document...

“"Free! Body and soul free!" she kept whispering” (Chopin par. 16) this is what most people have a problem with. Instead of the typical sense of bereavement that one would feel when they find out the person that they love is dead, she feels a sense of great reprieve for getting out of a life that she apparently didn’t want to be a part of. Many could argue that this would was a sociopath because of her completely distain for her husband’s death. I don’t think that is it though, it’s not that she is happy that her husband’s dead but she is happy with the way that is going to work in her favor. Women didn’t have rights back in those times so the only way that a woman could be on her own is if her husband died.
The truly startling part of the story was the ending, when Mrs. Mallard is descending the stairs, she sees her supposedly deceased husband walking in the front door and instead of being overjoyed like she just was; she drops dead at the sight of him. “When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease—of joy that kills.” (Chopin par. 23) We of course know that this statement is false because instead she had just been experiencing such joy and happiness over the fact that her husband was dead, the pure shock of seeing him and realizing that everything that she had just been so hopeful for was crashing down around her must have been truly devastating. This is of course the true reason that her frail heart had given out. I am sure that her poor husband blamed himself for giving his wife such a joyful fright never knowing the truth behind her ultimate demise. It isn’t that she was overjoyed that her husband was dead though, she said he was a good man treated her right, she wasn’t happy in her marriage and women back then had no other option than to wait for their husbands to pass.
Chopin by todays’ standards would have been the atypical American woman; she smoked cigarettes, walked through the streets unaccompanied and wrote about whatever she felt like writing about. In 2014 that is a very common occurrence but in 1870 it was inconceivable. Chopin was raised by her mother and Grandmother in a high class household, she was even the “belle in St. Louis's high society “(Encyclopedia par. 15) After marrying her husband in 1870 she moved to New Orleans...

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