Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

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Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” tries to shed light on the conflict between women and a society that assign gender roles using a patriarchal approach. Specifically Margaret Bauer highlights, that most of Chopin’s works revolves around exploring the “dynamic interrelation between women and men, women and patriarchy, even women and women” (146). Similarly, in “The Story of an Hour” Chopin depicts a society that oppresses women mostly through the institution of marriage, as women are expected to remain submissive regardless of whether they derive any happiness. The question of divorce is not welcome, and it is tragic that freedom of women can only be realized through death. According to Bauer, the society depicted in Chopin’s story judged women harshly as it expected women to play their domestic roles without question, while on the other hand men were free to follow their dream and impose their will on their wives (149).
Chopin depicts marriage as a prison institution that confines women for life. In the story there is no possibility for divorce and death seems to be the only way out. Evidently, since marriage is dictated by society, women do not seem bothered by their lack of freedom since they feel it is their obligation to run homes without complaining. From the story, Mrs. Mallard does not seem perturbed by her present situation until gets a taste of freedom after receiving the news about her husband death. Precisely, we are told that;
She was beginning to recognize this thing that was approaching to possess her, and she was striving to beat it back with her will--as powerless as her two white slender hands would have been. When she abandoned herself a little whispered word escaped her slightly parted lips. She said it over...

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...t the end of the story shows that liberation of women in a society ruled by a patriarchal mindset is doomed to fail (Wan 169). According to Wan, the story of an hour is a true depiction of representation of women in the nineteenth century when movements against oppression of women began to emerge (170). Although the outcomes were not as tragic as depicted in the story, it was obviously a journey filled with many challenges, and the fact that a viable resolve is yet to be achieved to date shows the issue of gender equality is grim.
In conclusion, “The story of an hour” is a clear depiction that women status in the society determines the choices they make about their lives. In this work, Chopin depicts a woman as a lesser being without identity or voices of their own. They are expected to remain in oppressive marriages and submit to their husbands without question.
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