Freedom And Restraint Are The Backbones Of The Astounding Short Story Essay

Freedom And Restraint Are The Backbones Of The Astounding Short Story Essay

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Freedom and restraint are the backbones of the astounding short story, ¨The Story of an Hour.¨ Early in the 19th century, a young woman named Louise Mallard encounters the traditional gender restrictions set by the male-oriented society. After the unexpected news of her spouse’s death, she began to experience the true meaning of freedom. Throughout time, duties and responsibilities were defined by people’s social standards. While men were deemed as rational and superior, women were characterized as physically and intellectually inferior to men. Women followed the system of the “Cult of Domesticity,” where the role of a woman was to tend and fulfill her husband’s needs and domestic affairs. The only source of power a female had was at home, in fact, they were the moral and spiritual leaders to their children. A man’s task was to provide for his family financially. Through feminist movements, writings, and opposition to the social norms, changes began to evolve in the stereotypical gender roles within the institution of marriage defined by society. In the “Story of an Hour,” Kate Chopin uses the death of Brently Mallard to demonstrate the transition from restraint to independence by exposing the Mallard’s marriage through imagery and symbolism to redefine the roles in society.
The imagery displayed by Chopin illustrates the topics of captivity and freedom. As the news of her husband 's demise approached, Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with grief. She was devastated with an “inability to accept its significance[...], [her] gaze was fixed away off yonder on one of those patches of blue sky”(Chopin). Chopin implies that women were held to a standard of stupidity and were expected to exhibit the traits of high morals and emotions. Any “sud...


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...optimism for the future. This season symbolizes the renewal of an object; therefore, the spring indicates the rebirth of Louise’s identity. Finally she could see clearly, from a bird’s eye view, in how her life could be shaped. Once Mrs.Mallard gives into her elation, she senses a whole new life awaiting her without “a powerful will bending her” resolve. Louise had found freedom and it is no longer controlled by any person other than her rationale. Chopin expresses the new independent role of women in the 19th century through symbolism.
In conclusion, the two rhetorical elements of imagery and symbolism was used to exhibit Chopin’s opinion on gender restrictions on a woman in the 1800s. The opportunities for women were limited; they were expected to take a role that is feminine and nurturing. Changes occurred to redefine a woman’s role in society in the 19th century.

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