It’s 1.00p.m. and you’re listening to Literature Made Easy. With me is Felicia Kueh, an expert in English literature who had graduated with PhD in English Literature from The University of Edinburgh. Today, she is going to answer us several questions on ‘The story of an hour’ and ‘Desiree’s baby’ written by Kate Chopin. Welcome, Felicia.
Hi Teresa and thanks for inviting me. I’m more than happy to answer questions for the audiences.
Okay. So here comes the first question. What is the setting of the stories and how essential is the setting to the story?
In ‘The story of an hour’, it is set in a house in the 1890s, a time when women had little to no rights. Louise was the typical housewife married to the working man. She was to keep the house in order and have dinner ready when the man got home. This confinement and role Louise had to play gives her “heart trouble”. At first when Mr. Mallard is reported dead, Louise weeps suddenly then goes to her room. She spends the next several minutes looking at how free she is now that her husband is gone. The setting of the story affects the context greatly. If it had taken place in the 21st century, Louise might not …show more content…
The common theme is that women are weak and cannot continue to live their life without families in 19th century. From “The Story of an Hour” we can see that the main character, Louise Mallard was happy after knowing her husband was dead. She was celebrating the freedom she obtained because of the death of her husband. In fact, she could divorce with her husband if she did not love him anymore. Somehow, she did not dare to ask for divorcing. Besides, in “Desiree’s Baby”, the main character, Desiree was weak as she cannot stand for her husband’s mental abuse towards her that he changed his attitude towards her, he talked to her with averted eyes, losing all his love towards her because she was potentially a black. Thus, she went away from L’ Abri with her baby, risking her life and her baby’s
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When the woman in The Story of an Hour is told the news of her husband’s death, she is treated as a fragile as a flower, like there is no way she is strong enough to take this type of news. There are many ways to take her reaction of sobbing, but it seems that she does this because she is sad. But when it’s considered in a different life it seems she does this because her husband’s death opens up a world of opportunity to her. As a housewife in the 1800s she was expected to stay home, cook, clean, raise kids and basically pamper her husband. Even if she loved
In The Story of An Hour, Louise Mallard receives news that her husband has died in a railroad disaster. This fact is the first hint towards American culture at the time, as many men were working on the railroads in hopes of igniting economic prosperity. The idea of having a railroad line that would bring the country together was gaining great popularity. Initially, Mrs. Mallard is overcome with sadness from the news of her husband passing. However, as she looks out a window, she realizes her freedom. She hears a peddler yelling out what he’s
“Story of an Hour” uses Louise Mallard’s repressed life as a wife to elucidate how repression can lead to bottled up depression. Louise Mallard understands the “right” way for women to behave, but her internal thoughts and feelings are anything but correct. This is first illustrated by the initial reaction to her husband’s death, where she cries instead of feeling numb, as she suspects other women would do. The death of her husband acts as a catalyst to alleviate her depression that rooted in her marriage. In the beginning of the story we are introduced to Louise’s heart problem, which shows the extent to which she believes her marriage has trapped her. The author of the story gives a vague description of Mallard’s heart condition just simply calling it a “heart problem” (Choplin 452). This vague description shows how her “heart problem” is both physical and
• Do the settings make the stories believable or credible? How does setting impact the plot of the story, and how would the plot be affected if the story took place in another setting?
Relationships seem to be the favorite subject of Kate Chopin’s stories. As Margaret Bauer suggests that Chopin is concerned with exploring the “dynamic interrelation between women and men, women and patriarchy, even women and women” (Bauer 146). In “The Story of an Hour” Chopin deals with the subject of marriage. She illustrates the influence of family alliance on individual freedom. According to Wohlpart,“The Story of an Hour” describes the journey of Mrs. Mallard against the Cult of True Womanhood as she slowly becomes aware of her own desires and thus of a feminine self that has long been suppressed”(Wohlpart 2). The Cult of True Womanhood in the XIX century included “purity” and “domesticity”. The former suggested that women must maintain their virtue. The latter – denied them their intellectual and professional capabilities (Papke 12). Being the victim of this Cult, Louise Mallard was a good example of a wife without “her own desires and feminine self”.
During the 1800’s it was very rare for women to marry for love. Most marriages were arranged for financial gain. When in a marriage during this time period, the husbands were given most of the control over the household, the children and their wives. According to the article “Histories: Women in the 1800’s,” It stated that all of a women’s possession’s belonged to her husband, this included earnings (if she worked) and her property. It wasn’t uncommon for women to be unhappy within their marriages because with a lack of voice in a marriage can lead anyone to a mental breakdown. In Kate Chopin’s “The story of an hour” and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” both women felt trapped in their marriages. They both strived for freedom and independence.
Moreover, "The Story of an Hour", shows that Louise felt her husband's domination through the "powerful will bending her" (14), later she is in "this possession of self-assertion which she suddenly recognized as the strongest impulse of her being." (15). This last statement indicates this newborn contention in Louise, made only possible by Mr. Mallard's death. In Mr. Mallard's death, Louise finds herself being able to assert herself in unimaginable ways; Mrs. Mallard is no longer limited to the confines of her marriage. Ultimately, all of this new brazenness and freedom is dependent
In “The Story of an Hour”, the main character Mrs. Mallard, gets news that her husband has been killed in an accident. Her sister delays telling her the news because she has a bad heart, but when she finally tells the news, Mrs. Mallard wants to be left alone. They think that she is very upset by her husband’s death, but
Contrasting the strong and healthy male counterparts in the “Story of an Hour and “Desiree's baby”, the man in “The Storm”, “The Kiss” and “The unexpected” have characteristics that make them insufficient to fit the typical and patronized characterization of what a male character should be. Armand, from “Desiree’s Baby”, is described as “dark, [with a] handsome face” with and an “imperious and exacting manner”(2) which attributes to his striking dominance over Desiree’s monetary and emotional state. In contrast, Bratain from “The Story of an Hour”, who is described as “rather insignificant and unattractive” (1) ends up under Natalie's disposition. In the same context, Brently Mallard from the “Story of an Hour” returns home perfectly healthy
Kate Chopin's `The Story of an Hour' is a short yet complex piece describing the feelings of Mrs Mallard. This story is overflowing with symbolism and imagery. The most prominent theme here is the longing for freedom. Chopin focuses on unfolding the emotional state of Mrs Mallard which can be separated into three stages: quickly moving to grief, through a sense of newfound freedom, and finally into the despair of the loss of that freedom.
Female subjugation was a major issue during the time that this story takes place. Women were supposed to be the nurtures and their job was to support the men and were forced to obey their orders. Women were suppressed for a period of time not being allowed to voice their opinions without being ridiculed or punished. With regards to the fact that they learned how to keep things to themselves to keep society from looking down upon them for any little mistake they made, or simply for being “different.” In this short story, Desiree struggled in a search for belonging somewhere and belonging to someone. Abandoned as a toddler, she grew up not knowing anything about her heritage or ancestry. Desiree was adopted by an upper class white American family who treated her as if she was one of them. Desiree was forced to leave the home that she and Armand lived in because he no longer wanted her there. Desiree had no intentions of deceiving Armand, she had no idea of her origin- except for what she had been informed of by her adopted parents. Armand’s true colors are shown as the climax is revealed. Armand is an insensitive human being to have denied the two people who he should have loved the most- his child and
"Desiree's Baby" is not a mere tragic short story by which a reader may be entertained by its ironic and catastrophic ending. It is a story of a crime and brutality against women of all generations to come, depicting vividly how a woman may suffer and conceal her anguish for the sake of others. It is a story of innocence slain mercilessly by the unscrupulous power of harshness that directly governs human societies.
The Story of an Hour revolves around a woman named Louise Mallard who has heart trouble. When her sister Josephine breaks the news to her that her husband was a part of a lethal train accident, Louise does not take the news well and locks herself in her room. While in solitude, she looks out an open window. She sees trees, smells approaching rain, and hears a peddler yelling out what he’s selling. She realizes with the death of her husband brought her a freedom. She could now live for herself. She opens the door and is met with her sister who helps her walk down the stairs. Once they almost make it down however, the door swings open and in walks her husband who was presumed to have died. Louise then has a fatal heart attack right then and there in surprise and joy at seeing her husband once again.
The time period of “The Story of an Hour” takes place in the 1800s, a time where women were dependent on men who were the majority who held jobs and made the money while women stayed at home to clean, take care of children, cooked, and other related housing duties. After slight grieving of finding out her husband has passed and going into a room by herself, the setting and mood of the story change subtly and creates a sort of at peace, free feeling. Mrs. Mallard notices “the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new