IN "The Story of an Hour," Kate Chopin tells the tale of a woman who learns of her husband's untimely death, seeks solitude in which she proceeds to reflect upon this incident and its implications, has a life-altering/-giving epiphany, and proceeds to have all of the fresh hope and elation that had accompanied this experience dashed when her supposedly dead husband appears alive and well at her door, thereby inducing her sudden death. Read in isolation, it seems as if this is merely a detailed account of one woman's reaction to the death of her husband and, on a basic and concrete level, it is. However, to grasp Chopin's intended themes and to gain a true appreciation and understanding of the piece, we must consider it within a broader context. The author dexterously weaves a great deal of social commentary and feminist ideas through her work which may only be perceived if we consider the prevalent stereotypes and social expectations of women at her time, and the implications of such ideas. Upon doing so, we are able to see that Chopin has created a piece that vividly contrasts the true needs and wants of women with those that an oppressive society has imposed upon them, and the ultimate implications of this.
Though it is camouflaged as expository material, the contents of the first paragraph of the piece are actually a description of the way that the society of Chopin's time perceived women. It begins with the word "knowing," which reflects society's belief that it, not the women themselves, knows what is best for them; already we can begin to see the aforementioned theme beginning to take shape. We then proceed to make the acquaintance of the protagonist Louise Mallar...
... middle of paper ...
...er that their future freedom and individuality was in, and also to denote such a condition to society as a whole so that it might cease to foster its false and detrimental stereotypes of the female populous. Chopin recognized the disparity between the true needs and wants of women and those that society forced upon them, and provoked women to speak out against such oppression by pointing out the negative consequences that would result from their continual acquiescence. The central themes and social commentary conveyed through Chopin's vivid imagery and meaningful diction lead both past and present readers to reflect upon the role of women and society's effects upon those of all gender, race, and ethnicity.
Chopin, Kate. "The Story of an Hour" in The Complete Works of Kate Chopin. Per Sayersted, ed. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 1969. 352-54.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- “The Story of an Hour” is a stark display of female rejection of the norms of society. This work, by Kate Chopin, begins with a woman going through the stages of grief for her husband’s death. For the wife, Louise Mallard, this was an awakening of a new life. This new life is cut short as the information that led her to believe this news turns our false. Kate Chopin reveals that even the desire for love is trumped by the need for freedom and independence, through her use of precise diction and syntax, and symbolism.... [tags: the story of an hour, kate chopin]
1182 words (3.4 pages)
- Freedom in Kate Chopin's The Story of An Hour In Kate Chopin's "The Story of An Hour" the theme is found within the concept of how someone can be trapped in a repressive, unsatisfying reality because of another's thoughtless oppression and manipulation. When combined with the contemporary society's beliefs --- presumably the later half of the 19th century for this story -- a further understanding of Chopin's thoughts and feelings can be realized. Mrs. Louise Mallard, the victim and messenger of this story, is the representation of such a person.... [tags: Chopin Story of An Hour Essays]
1076 words (3.1 pages)
- Kate Chopin's The Story of an Hour Kate Chopin was a Victorian writer; whose writing manifests her life experiences. She was not happy with the principles of the time, because women had fewer rights, and they were not considered equal to men. Afraid of segregation from society, people lived in a hypocritical world full of lies; moreover, Kate Chopin was not afraid of segregation, and used her writing as a weapon against oppression of the soul. Marriage was an oppressor to Chopin, she had been a victim of this institution.... [tags: Kate Chopin The Story of an Hour]
394 words (1.1 pages)
- Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour" In “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin, the author depicts how someone can be trapped in an unproductive and unsatisfying reality because of other’s thoughtlessness, exploitation, and domination. When combined with the contemporary society’s belief, presumably the later half of the 19th century, a further understanding of Chopin’s thoughts and feelings can be realized. Mrs. Louise Mallard, the victim and messenger of this story, is the image of such a person.... [tags: Kate Chopin Story Hour Essays]
664 words (1.9 pages)
- Irony in Chopin's Story of an Hour Irony is a useful device for giving stories many unexpected twists and turns. In Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour," irony is used as an effective literary device. Situational irony is used to show the reader that what is expected to happen sometimes doesn't. Dramatic irony is used to clue the reader in on something that is happening that the characters in the story do not know about. Irony is used throughout Chopin's "The Story of an Hour" through the use of situational irony and the use of dramatic irony.... [tags: Chopin Story of An Hour Essays]
794 words (2.3 pages)
- In "The Story of an Hour" Kate Chopin tells the story of a woman, Mrs. Mallard whose husband is thought to be dead. Throughout the story Chopin describes the emotions Mrs. Mallard felt about the news of her husband's death. However, the strong emotions she felt were not despair or sadness, they were something else. In a way she was relieved more than she was upset, and almost rejoiced in the thought of her husband no longer living. In using different literary elements throughout the story, Chopin conveys this to us on more than one occasion.... [tags: The Story of an Hour Kate Chopin]
805 words (2.3 pages)
- Back in 1894, the American writer Kate Chopin wrote the short-story "The Story of an Hour". Chopin, born O'Flaherty, wasn't renowned as a writer during her time, but she has achieved recognition in the 20th century especially with her 1899 novel "The Awakening". Her stories about strong women have really been paid attention to in relation to this century's sexual liberation debate. This short-story revolves around what goes through a person's head when informed that a close family member has perished.... [tags: Kate Chopin Story Hour]
1331 words (3.8 pages)
- Kate Chopin's The Story of An Hour In "The Story of an Hour," Kate Chopin uses characterization, symbols, and conflicts that suggest that in certain situations, the death of a loved one may be a blessing. Such situations may include an abusive relationship, or an unhappy marriage, as this story suggests. In Chopin's story although the circumstances might lead the reader to believe that Louise's husband's death would cause her great pain, ironically, when she hears the news, she feels a great sense of relief.... [tags: Kate Chopin Story Hour Essays Papers]
1006 words (2.9 pages)
- Contrast of Irony and Style in Kate Chopin's The Story of an Hour Kate Chopin's use of irony in her short story, "The Story of an Hour," stands in direct contrast to the subtle manner in which she tells the story. Strong use of irony in a short story yields more honesty in a character. She achieves this quality by immediately setting the premise, that Mrs. Mallard's fragile health would ultimately lead to her demise, upon receiving the news of her husband's death. Before an immediate assumption can be made about Mrs.... [tags: Story Hour essays Kate Chopin Papers]
1415 words (4 pages)
- Irony in Kate Chopin's The Story of an Hour A very dull and boring story can be made into a great story simply by adding in something that is unexpected to happen. When the unexpected is used in literature it is known as irony. An author uses irony to shock the reader by adding a twist to the story. The author of “The Story of an Hour” is Kate Chopin. Her use of irony in the story is incredibly done more than once. Irony is thinking or believing some event will happen but in return the unexpected or opposite occurs.... [tags: The Story of an Hour Theme Kate Chopin]
1289 words (3.7 pages)