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Women Oppression: From A Feminine Perspective

982 words - 4 pages

Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” is the epitome of women oppression during the nineteenth century. Since Mrs. Mallard endures a severe heart disease, she poses as a threat to herself, at least in the mind of her sister Josephine. Since all of the action in the story gyrates around Mrs. Mallard’s comfort, this threating behavior is predominantly evident. Everything is composed to protect her from any impulsive and/or drastic agony. Concluding the story, the stability of her situation is what endures: Brently Mallard’s shocking arrival signals the return of her tyrannical disorder and guarantees that Louise Mallard will experience no more than a transitory alteration of her condition. It is this rigid vision-the conservancy of the oppressive circumstance-that’s evident Louise, or possibly her affliction, is lethal to herself.
Women during 19th century had limited choices on how they would live their lives. Most subsisted in a state slightly better than slavery. They were forced to obey men, because generally men detained all the assets and women had no autonomous means of existence. A prosperous widow was often considered a fortunate immunity. Although, if women remained single would accept societal displeasure and shame. Consequently, women could not have children with a man: the public penalties were solely too high. Neither could they work professionally, since the business world refused women.
Louise Mallard is the primary subject of the masculine discourse of the story. This so called masculine discourse, which ultimately pronounces her dead, is fixed at the beginning of the story. Initially, she is presented as “Mrs. Mallard” and also referred to as “she”. It is not until after Louise “was beginning to recognize. . . [her freedom] . . . was approaching”, that she is addressed by her own name (Choppin 81). But this amendment, as well as the change it exemplifies, is brief. Louise’s status as “wife” is reinstated in the literature and in Louise’s life when Brently Mallard comes in view of his wife.
Some would say that increases in heart disease of women may be caused by one or two reasons, the actual action of the organ itself and/or the passion for men. In consideration of this link between heart disease and the passion for the male sex, reveals that emotional stability is significant to the heart and its illnesses in 19th century, chiefly as a consequence of traditional interconnections among psyche and physical health conditions. Clearly emotions in the nineteenth century were viewed as important to heart condition. Nevertheless, perceptions such as stress and anxiety are clear examples of these emotions according to the prevalent culture and milieu. Although no man would admit that the stress and anxiety of their wife, came directly from him because he was completely dependent on her. With this being said, well behaved wives-of the nineteenth century-were considered to be a requirement instead of an act of love or honorable commitment. ...

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