Feminism In Kate Chopin's The Story Of An Hour

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In the opening of this short story, “The Story of an Hour”, written by Kate Chopin, Mrs. Mallard is identified as a woman with “heart trouble”. Although it is never specified in the story as being strictly physical, “heart trouble” alludes to the emotional distress Mrs. Mallard is in at the time according to the heavy burden her marriage lays upon her and her freedom. After her husband’s tragic death in a railroad incident, Louise realizes that now without the weight of a husband upon her, she is free to live her life for herself and as is satisfies her. By being circumscribed to a constricting marriage and not possessing the free will to express thoughts of her own, she is lead to a unique conclusion of her current condition. Louise is…show more content…
When her husband was still with her, she had no identity, she was branded exclusively as Mrs. Mallard, Brently Mallard’s wife. Now, Louise distinguishes that she can finally be her own person and be identified by who she is, not only as someone else’s wife. As Louise departs from her room, she develops into a new person and as Mark Cunningham (2004) writes in his Literary Criticism, The Autonomous Female and the Death of Louise Mallard in Kate Chopin’s “Story of an Hour”, “With Brently’s return, with the reconstitution of her marriage and previous social position, Louise once again vanishes among her husband and her relatives” (para. 3). This explicates that when Louise’s husband was with her, and when he returns, she fades into the background. In the short time Louise is deprived of her husband, she grows into her own identity and this gives way to her feminist ideas. As Louise realizes that she now does not have to live for anyone else in the years to come, Chopin (1894) writes that “There would be no powerful will bending hers” (para. 14). This demonstrates that Louise frequently felt that her husband’s opinion conflicted on hers and she rarely received the attention she deserved. Now, Louise has no one to rule above her, no one to be associated with as lesser than
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