Critical Perspective In Kate Chopin's The Story Of An Hour

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A Feminist Critical Perspective in Kate Chopin’s “The Story on an Hour”

Man is defined as a human being and a woman as a female – whenever she behaves as a human being she is said to imitate the male.
(Simone de Beauvoir)

Simone de Beauvoir was a French writer, philosopher and a feminist activist, her work along with Elaine Showalter’s were important to diffuse feminist theory in the 1960s. Beauvoir words above shows criticism to the patriarch society were men holds all the power and whenever woman tries to achieve political or economic success they are viewed as a fraud. The war of sexes is not a modern issue and it was present in early societies it also differs from culture to culture. There are a small percentage of matriarchy society
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The Symbolism of Louise’s death at the end of this short story shows how tragically someone’s life can be when deprived of self-expression. Some critics like Madonne Miner states that “upon seeing her husband. Louse suffers a heart attack and dies”(Cunningham) others like Emily Toth “argues that Louise must die at the end of “The Story of an Hour” because the idea that she could live on as a widow glad of her husband’s death would have been ‘much too radical, far too threatening’ for editors and readers in the 1890s” (Cunningham). Chopin is such a gifted writer that she ends the story with a ironic sentence, “when the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease – of joy that kills” (1203) that can be interpreted as she died from overwhelming joy upon seeing her husband alive or that she died of disappointment upon realizing that her fantasized freedom would no longer be possible. With one sentence Chopin is able to fulfill both the expectation of the patriarch society, that Louise deserved dying for rejoicing in her husband death and also satisfy the feminist audience with the possibility that she rather dies than continue to live a repressed
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