Gender Roles In 'The Story Of An Hour' By Kate Chopin

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In Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour,” female heroine Louise Mallard’s judgment is questioned after her inability to show emotion following her husband’s death. Instead of feeling desperate and hopeless, Louise feels a sense of freedom and liberation. This depiction of an independent woman prevails in The Awakening as Chopin discusses a woman who battles to fulfill traditional Victorian female ethics in the midst of undergoing a physical and emotional awakening. Edna and Louise are similar because neither woman is happy with accepting conventional gender roles. In The Awakening, Chopin discusses the different female roles that Edna Pontellier, Adele Ratignolle, and Mademoiselle Reiz’s represent to emphasize the different ideas that women…show more content…
Throughout the story of The Awakening the author romanticizes the image of a woman who commits to her domestic duties and remains loyal to her husband; however, Edna does not fit this role because she chooses individuality over conformity. In the late 1800 's, and even in the early 1900 's, women felt discriminated against by men and society in general. Women were expected to live up to a perfect image created by society, while trying to comply with their husbands ' desires. Men typically held discriminatory and stereotypical views of women, so women felt as if they had no control over themselves and were perceived to be nothing more than property to men. Just as in society, in the story of The Awakening, Edna’s husband used her as a way to acquire extra money for him. He uses her status in society to create deals with other women’s husbands; therefore, her presence at home was only crucial when visitors would come around because as Chopin states,“ He thought it very discouraging that his wife, who was the sole object of his existence, evinced so little interest in things which concerned him, and valued so little his conversation” (9). Chopin directly states that Edna was the mere sole of her husband’s existence because in reality, the deals that she helped secure brought in needed funds to the

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