Freedom for women in the 19th century was unheard of; it was scoffed at, thrown away, and rebuked for a great while. With this being said, it is clear that the main theme of “The Story of an Hour,” written in 1894, is freedom and confinement: two opposites to emphasize the inequality of a world that was in a state of men over women, not just men and women. To convey her aggressive contention, however, Chopin had to employ some regular tools of literature. Although the setting can be overlooked in such a brief story, it emphasizes the theme by bringing new detail and meaning to the story. Chopin also utilizes characterization to foreshadow events later in the story. At the same time, the third person omniscient view provides valuable insight into Mrs. Mallard’s character and delivers a fuller, more complete story. Altogether, “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin develops a complex theme through the precise use of literary tools.
This theme of this short story, as mentioned above, is freedom and confinement. Women in the 19th century were made to be no more than housewives; however, Kate Chopin displays a fierce rebuttal to this standard belief in “The Story of an Hour.” A transient tale of liberation, the short story is a radical and threatening challenge the conventional views of women in the 1890s; be that as it may, in the words of Toth, “…to make her story publishable, Kate Chopin had to disguise reality. She had to have her heroine die” (10). Mrs. Mallard’s character is Chopin’s personification of her disbelief that men were more powerful than women. Mrs. Mallard is confined into a single room, is unable to leave her house due to her heart condition, and is restricted by her marriage—she face...
... middle of paper ...
As can be seen, “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin is carefully crafted work of literature that challenges the views of society. Chopin uses the Character of Mrs. Mallard to depict the inequality of that time and the tranquility that can be found in freedom. Chopin jumps from the bounds of confinement to the exhilaration of freedom, employing two contrasting themes to highlight one another. Furthermore, Chopin uses a house to illustrate Mrs. Mallard’s confinement and the outside world to paint a picture of a dangerous freedom. Lastly, Chopin’s chose point of view, third person omniscient allows us to see everything as it happens and understand the mind Mrs. Mallard. In Summary, Chopin challenge to society’s views may have been a risk at the time, but “The Story of an Hour,” is still a timeless piece of literature with relations to even today’s society.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Sometimes the most liberating experiences are those not sought. In Chopin’s stories: “The Story of an Hour”, and “The Storm”, we are exposed to different views of liberation. The opportunity to venture with or without someone will be further elaborated. Furthermore, the act of gaining something is not necessarily always accomplished by addition. In Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour”, Mrs. Mallard was a woman trapped in a marriage. You quickly realize exactly what type of marriage and level of confinement she was in.... [tags: Confinement, Glimpse of Freedom]
691 words (2 pages)
- Kate Chopin 's novel, The Awakening, focuses on the female protagonist Edna Pontellier. Set in the late eighteenth century, Mrs. Pontellier is expected to be the obediant maternal woman who dotes on her children and admires her husband. Edna appears as the ideal Victorian woman despite her reclusive personality. But as the novel progresses, Edna starts her awakenings where she begins her diffacult journey of self expression and self identity. Symbolism and imagery are key components throughout the novel and are used to more intimately explain Edna 's awakening.... [tags: English-language films, Kate Chopin]
1328 words (3.8 pages)
- Analysis of The Story of an Hour In the short story “The story of an Hour”, the author, Kate Chopin, clearly communicates the story’s theme which is having a restricted amount of freedom. In other words, the theme is confinement. In order to develop and explain the theme, Chopin uses irony throughout the entire short story. When the speaker states, “She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance.” (REFERENCE) this indicated that Louise Mallard did not refuse the news of her husband’s death.... [tags: Fiction, Literary technique]
825 words (2.4 pages)
- Kate Chopin, in The Awakening, poses an important question: can freedom exist in a society that advocates and supports confinement through the means of reputation, decency, and other social factors. The various characters in the novel make up three levels of awareness of freedom—ignorance, enlightenment, and pursuit. Kate Chopin uses these types of awareness to show that true freedom can never be obtained. The majority of the characters in The Awakening are completely unaware of the freedom that Kate Chopin writes about.... [tags: ignorance, enlightenment, pursuit]
875 words (2.5 pages)
- ... Hence, this shows her comfort in confined areas to relax her troubled heart, yet she did not want to go to see her husband and mourn his death. As well as, the death of her husband was not enough to kill her from a broken heart because of her condition. Finally, Louise not wanting companionship in her room shows that what she strives for has not been found in its entirety. The turning point to her real feelings about her being married has come to realization. This overwhelming feeling came over Louise, and the author wrote, “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 sle... [tags: marriage, confinement, heart]
685 words (2 pages)
- The Awakening – In Defense of Edna Does everyone have the right to happiness. It is stated in the Constitution that we as Americans have the right to life, liberty, and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. In the novel The Awakening by Kate Chopin the main Character Edna has a comfortable life. A sweet loving husband, cute children, enormous amounts of money and an extremely large house. Yet with all of this Edna is not fulfilled. Edna never took time to examine her life to see what she wanted out of it.... [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]
841 words (2.4 pages)
- In 1894, when Kate Chopin sat down and wrote "The Story of an Hour", woman had a very set place in society. A woman was meant to get married, and take care of their husband and children. For a woman like Chopin to put words on paper showing that a woman can realize her self-worth without a man by her side was a rarity. The short story has become persuasive propaganda for female equity (Women and Language). Chopin shows how a married woman reacts to losing her husband through an unexpected accident and feeling abandoned, realizing that she can still go on without him because she has self-worth and does not need her husband to be happy.... [tags: Marriage, Woman, Emotion, Wife]
910 words (2.6 pages)
- In the late 1800s and early 1900s, gender roles were very specific. It was a male dominant society and women were considered subordinate; therefore, it was difficult for women to break free from their existing roles. Also in this time frame, classism, or discrimination based on class, existed. Louise Mallard, the protagonist in Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour,” and Emily Grierson, the protagonist in William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily,” are both characters living in the post-Civil War era, struggling to free themselves from the constraints society has placed upon them.... [tags: understanding oppression, literary analysis]
1244 words (3.6 pages)
- In "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin, we are introduced to Mrs. Mallard. She is portrayed an unloving, heartless, woman who is overjoyed by the passing of her husband- or at least that is the common misconception. Mrs. Mallard although perceived as inhuman, is actually more human than most would like to believe. While her actions may seem questionable or even to be condemned, they are hardly unthinkable in light of the issues involving marriage and the woman's role throughout history. The story itself presents a valid argument in favor of Louise as she is portrayed as the oppressed wife finally set free after her husband's death.... [tags: Chopin Story Hour Analysis, misogyny, feminism]
1726 words (4.9 pages)
- Comparing Edna of Kate Chopin's The Awakening and Nora of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House Kate Chopin's work, The Awakening, and Henrik Ibsen's play, A Doll's House, were written at a time when men dominated women in every aspect of life. Edna Pontellier, the protagonist in The Awakening, and Nora, the protagonist in A Doll's House, are trapped in a world dominated by men. The assumed superiority of their husbands traps them in their households. Edna and Nora share many similarities, yet differ from each other in many ways. Two main similarities of Edna and Nora are that they both have an awakening and are like caged birds without freedom; one main difference is that Edna liv... [tags: Ibsen Chopin Compare Contrast Essays]
1036 words (3 pages)