Societal Boundaries in Kate Chopin's The Story of an Hour and Desiree's Baby

Societal Boundaries in Kate Chopin's The Story of an Hour and Desiree's Baby

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Societal Boundaries in Kate Chopin's The Story of an Hour and Desiree's Baby

As humans, we live our life within the boundaries of our belief systems and moral guidelines we were raised with. Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” and “Desiree’s Baby” tells the story of two women who live according to those societal boundaries.
American author Kate Chopin (1850–1904) wrote about a hundred short stories and two novels in the 1890s. Most of her fiction is set in Louisiana and most of her best-known work focuses on the lives of sensitive, intelligent women. After her father's death, Kate's family included her widowed mother, her widowed grandmother and her widowed great-grandmother. Perhaps this provides a glimpse of what would ultimately influence Kate Chopin as a writer-- the lack of male role models and men as central figures in her life as she matured. This lack would also prevent her from experiencing what was basically a fundamental social concept of her time--the tradition of submission of women to men in all social spheres, but especially that of marriage (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kate_Chopin)
In 1888, after suffering grief from the deaths of her father, mother and her husband, Chopin turned to creative writing as an outlet. She was not particularly well known as a writer during her life. She began writing seriously at the age of 39, when she would have already experienced many maturing life situations. She found her central focus rapidly, and wrote stories whose intriguing characters and settings often disguised the seriousness of their themes. Not greatly involved in the politics of her time, she was nonetheless influenced by such classic masters as Maupassan...


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Kate Chopin's use of irony in the story is particularly effective. She points out the various aspects that prejudice is unfair to the characters in her story. If Desiree had been the one of mixed race then she could have been considered by as the innocent heroine. Consequently, because Armand is the source of the suspect blood, Desiree becomes totally the victim.




Works Cited

Charters, Ann. The Story and Its Writer. 7. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2007.
http://college.hmco.com/english/lauter/heath/4e/students/author_pages/late_nineteenth/
chopin_ka.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kate_Chopin

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desiree's_Baby

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Societal Boundaries in Kate Chopin's The Story of an Hour and Desiree's Baby

- Societal Boundaries in Kate Chopin's The Story of an Hour and Desiree's Baby As humans, we live our life within the boundaries of our belief systems and moral guidelines we were raised with. Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” and “Desiree’s Baby” tells the story of two women who live according to those societal boundaries. American author Kate Chopin (1850–1904) wrote about a hundred short stories and two novels in the 1890s. Most of her fiction is set in Louisiana and most of her best-known work focuses on the lives of sensitive, intelligent women....   [tags: Chopin Feminism]

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