Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” Reflects the Feminist Movement of the Late Nineteenth Century

Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” Reflects the Feminist Movement of the Late Nineteenth Century

Kate Chopin’s ‘The Story of an Hour’, entails a satirical narrative involving a late 19th century wife. The story has many events with significant causal sequential coherence and extremely few events that are not rationally vital to the story action. The author employs a sudden modification of scheme at the conclusion the narrative to shock readers.
The Story of an Hour discloses how 19th century marriage institutions still mirror the 21st century. Mrs. Mallard (Louise) did not enjoy her marriage; however, she stayed since divorce was extraordinary then. Mallard was sad after the death of Mr. Ballard; however, she was pleased because she could now do the things she wished. For instance, Mr. Mallard’s demise signaled Mrs. Mallard’s rebirth since she ceased to live for no one else but herself. Chopin challenges prevailing women matters such as: wife-husband relationship; individuality; freedom; and love (Golden, Zangrando, 2000, 45). She instinctively individually looks at life, and becomes, especially and intimately interested in Mrs. Mallard’s personal and intimate affairs as well as her unstable tempers.
The marriage concept in the 1800s is still prevalent in the 21st century since many women still believe that they ought to be submissive to all needs of their husbands as was Mrs. Ballard. Some women still are convinced that they ought to t hold on to marriage even when they are unhappy.
Chopin employs foreshadowing in order to influence the mood of the narratives as wells introduce irony so as to skillfully mislead reader s. The Story of an Hour describes a chaotic marriage with the wife, who suffers from heart complications, struggling to get out of such blind association. Kate Chopin’s `The Story of an Hour` Reflects the Feminist Movement of the Late Nineteenth Century.

Josephine, Mrs. Mallard’s sister informs her sister that Mr. Mallard supposedly died in some train mishap. Upon conveying such sad news, Josephine sta4rts crying. Mrs. Mallard reacts unexpectedly by going to her upstairs bedroom and sitting comfortable staring outside through the window. She considers the past, current situation, as well as the future and realizes that she is free from the domination of her spouse. However, Louise is at the same time torm4eneted because she is ware that she ought to e sorrowful after her spouse’s demise (Chopin, 2001, p.26). Chopin utilizes various images to define Mrs. Mallard’s inner conflict whereby she gradually discovers herself and establishes that she desires and wants freedom.
When Mrs. Mallard is still dreaming, Brent mallard abruptly comes back having not really involved in the train mishap. Mrs. Mallard suffers a heart attack and dies when she sees her husband. To her husband as well as the other characters (Josephine and Richards), Louise dies of heart attack thus simplifying irony. Every character expects Louise’s death to result from her hearing of Brent’s death, while in the real sense; Louise dies because she loses losing her attractive dreams and freedom (Breem, 2006).
Mrs. Mallard and Josephine are sisters who have similar backgrounds, reside within the same town, and superficially seem to be contented. However, these two women have extremely different attitudes as depicted but their response to the demise of Mr. Mallard. Despite the fact that the two sisters are supposed to perform certain social roles, Louise, unlike her sister Josephine, is not contented with her existence because of societal limitations. At the story’s end, Mrs. Mallard and Josephine react extremely differently when Mr. Mallard comes home.
The Story of an Hour entails a third-person restricted omniscient work, with the speaker being non-participant and telling the narrative from various perspectives. Mrs. Mallard is the focus of the narrative and Chopin invites readers to generate the story’s text-world.
The notion of readers following Louise to the upstairs beside-the-window position, being involved with Louise’s mind, feelings, emotions, and thoughts, as well as her future hopes and dreams, reveals the disgusting condition of women then. Such study uses a stylistic perspective whereby the investigator tries to establish a link between linguistic scrutiny findings and literary analysis’s response (Breem, 2006).
Chopin expertly uses ambiguity and irony in The Story of an Hour. Regarding usage of the passive voice the theme of the narrative is weakened the inherent grammatical composition, for instance, Louise gets possessed by her desires rather than her possessing them.
Chopin’s narrative has a lot of imagery and symbolism, with the major theme being desire fro liberty. Chopin emphasizes on disclosing Mrs. Mallard’s emotional condition, which may be divided into 3 phases namely: abruptly being sorrowful; having a feeling of new independence; and ultimately despairing because of losing such freedom. The The Story of an Hour was developed during the 12800s when highly limiting gender roles prohibited women from living as they pleased. Chopin’ story describes marriage images where wives celebrate their husbands’ demise. Louise would have been happier with her husband deceased than living (Breem, 2006). Chopin powerfully narrates the prevailing social domination through use of literary apparatus like setting, setting, and tone.
Chopin explores the unpredictable response of a lady to her spouse’s supposed demise and subsequent reappearance. The writer as well presents the bizarre tale of Mrs. Mallard to disclose problems intrinsic in marriage. Through the description of such marriages that smother women such that they celebrate their loving and kind husbands’ demise, Chopin urges readers to scrutinize their intrinsic views regarding marriage as well as women-men relationships. Every reader’s verdict regarding Mrs. Mallard as well as her conduct inevitably originates from their personal outlooks regarding marriage plus the effects of social expectations. Different audiences of different ages, matrimonial experiences, and genders are thus, expected to respond differently to the author’s startling depiction of the marriage of the mallards (Chopin, 2001, 63).
The Story of an Hour depicts Louise mallard revealing her ironically natural sense of freedom and joy after hearing about her Mr. Mallards demise. Mrs. Mallard’s sense of liberty is expressed via the use of bright natural color and images. Chopin addresses the topic of liberty and freedom from male domination through indirectly using color, natural, plus bright imagery. Such natural representations are related to the atmosphere and the surroundings, whereas color images are repeatedly associated with characters’ physical looks.
Chopin informs readers that marriages do not always make people as happy as they wish, with several individuals, such as Mrs. Mallard, feeling trapped within their marriages. Louise only really felt happy in a single instance in her married life, that is, strangely, when she learnt of her spouse’s demise. Mrs. Mallard is yoked in her marriage, and especially, in her mind, which ultimately kills her (Chopin, 2001, 97). By successfully defining characters’ generation of thoughts, Chopin undoubtedly reveals that the friction between individuals and the society is the origin of the tragedy and sadness found within marriage.
Chopin appears to make readers abhor or hate the ‘man’ by casting males in evil, dim, and negative light. Thus it is inexcusable to think that Louise died because he spouse abused or oppressed her. Nevertheless, Mrs. Mallard is not a casualty of cruelty caused by Bentley, her spouse; rather, she is a casualty of the tyranny caused by 19th century marriages.
Being a forerunner to contemporary feminist pressure groups, Chopin looked at daring, novel depictions of her fair-sex subjects. The author employs the strange occurrences in the lives of the characters to remove them from the unconsciousness of passive living. Therefore, the female character wakes up from a trance induced by marriage and enters a self-awareness condition, an individual autonomous from her spouse.
The Story of an Hour adheres to the following story organization illustrative representation: for the moment of incitement (Louise’s heart problem and Bentley’s demise); towards the peak (Louise turning into an autonomous free individual); and to the disaster. Reversal is the most vital constituent of the narrative, whereby the author surprises readers in Louise’s response to the demise of her spouse. Such reversal occurs when Louise joyfully accepts her spouse’s demise and her awareness of autonomy. Therefore, the narrative weaves the tale to the precise opposite of the reader’s expectations. Such reversal of the expectations of readers is a more efficient mode for the author to convey her point (Golden, & Zangrando, 2000, 116).
Mrs. Mallard is directly dominated by Mr. Bentley and this makes her intensely crave for autonomy. Mr. Mallard controls Louise in soul and body and feels that he lives Louise’s life on her behalf. Chopin weaves an aspect of the natural world, over which nobody has power, into The Story of an Hour.
Chopin’s work is characterized by the pressure pitting fairer-sex characters against the community. Chopin seeks to explore the vibrant inter-linkage between men, patriarchy, and women, as well ass between women and women. The author employs gender impediments on 2 levels namely: to establish an opportunity for discussing feminine characteristics; and to analyze the male-dominated community that refuses such identity. Entrapment, as opposed to autonomy, inspires Chopin, because she primarily seeks to explore how sexual category roles work to deny individuality. However, without such entrapment, the identity issue, as well as the motivation to discuss identity, would not exist.


Works cited:

Breem, Sami. Deictic Elements in Kate Chopin’s The Story of an Hour- a Cognitive Poetics/Stylistic Perspective. 2006. 25th July 2009. <>.
Chopin, Kate. The Story of an Hour. Logan, Iowa united states: Perfection learning, 2001.
Golden, Catherine, J. & Zangrando, Joanna, Schneider. The Mixed Legacy of Charlotte Parkins Gilman. Newark, DE: University of Delaware press , 2000.

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