Freedom And Confinement By Kate Chopin Essay

Freedom And Confinement By Kate Chopin Essay

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The Power of Freedom
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...


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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.

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