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Oppression of Marriage: Chopin's The Story of an Hour and Desiree's Baby

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In both of Chopin’s short stories, “The Story of an Hour” and “Desiree’s baby”, Chopin highlights the oppressive nature of marriage. Both short stories illustrate a tale of heartache, regret, and the dangers of instant gratification. Without equality within the bonds that tie us together, death is often the result. Each of the character’s experience true renowned joy and just as quickly lose that joy. This joy is similar to a drug addiction and drug withdrawal. During their moments of joy they are enthralled with this new feeling and new meaning of life. And just as quickly as their hopes were raised, the hope that love could be true, they were cast back down into a pit of despair.

In the case of The Story of an Hour with Mrs. Mallard, she is overwhelmed with joy to be released from her gender constricting chains. She is released from the oppression of her dominate husband. Mr. Mallard was a man who fit the stereotype of an oppressive white male and was most likely proud of himself to be dominator of womankind alike. I can only make the assumption that Mr. Mallard is indeed as oppressive as the text suggests. “There was something coming to her and she was waiting for it fearfully.” She speaks of this joy as if it is the boogie man about to get her and it makes sense to be afraid. She was afraid of being happy after only knowing sadness. If she had not been happy since before her marriage then happiness was something she was not familiar with and it is human nature to fear the unknown. Yet she is waiting, waiting patiently for her joy to overcome her. She is out of the dark tunnel and can see more than just a pinhole of light. She talks about “the tops of trees that were all aquiver”. The trees quiver with excitement just as she f...


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...d because that is what has been passed down through cultures past. The man is almost always the dominator because he is the supporter/bread-winner. What most western cultures have failed to accept is that women are the carriers of life itself. Without equality ingrained within a binding marriage there can only be harvested fear, shame, and oppression; and that fear, shame, and oppression is passed down onto the next generation. The cycle of hate will continue until both participants of a binding espousal are given the same rights, liberties, and the pursuits of happiness. Without the bees, the flowers die. Without the flowers bees get with trees.



Works Cited

Chopin, Kate, and Kate Chopin. The Story of an Hour. Logan, IA: Perfection Learning, 2001. Print.
Chopin, Kate. The Awakening, and Selected Stories of Kate Chopin. New York: New American Library, 1976. Print



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