Kate Chopin

2191 Words9 Pages
The life of Kate Chopin started in a world of women. Following the tragic death of her father, the author lived with her mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Perhaps this upbringing influenced her writing style. The late 1800’s was a boisterous time in the United States. The cultural scene of the country was changing quickly, and for the first time, women brought private and personal issues into the public domain. This writer portrays the lives of women in a world controlled by male dominance while developing their own individual personalities. Her characters were usually socially accepted, but rebelled against the social codes of the day. The Victorian time period that shaped Chopin’s life, was the subject matter used in many of her…show more content…
Mallard finds relief in the knowledge of her newly found freedom from a marriage of oppression. Fantasizing occupies Mrs. Mallard throughout the day as she gazes out of the window thinking about her new life, a new life symbolized by the new buds on the trees and the singing birds. The protagonist envisions her life without a husband’s rule and the story ends with Mrs. Mallard’s sister leading her down the stairs towards the living room. Surprisingly, as the two ladies approach the bottom of the stairs, Mr. Mallard enters the front door. The man was not on the train that day and he was very much alive. With this shocking irony, Mrs. Mallard fell to the ground. Adding to the irony of the story, she dies and he lives. As the doctor arrived, he relayed to the family that Mrs. Mallard had suffered a heart attack. Selina Jamil relates Mrs. Mallard's final death to the feelings she had repressed during her married life with her husband. Although Mrs. Mallard loved her husband, she was ready to live her life for herself or not live at all. ( ) As she grieved it occurred to her that she is now a free and independent woman as she whispers, “Free, free, free” ( ). Another bit of irony used in The Story of an Hour, is the thought that Mr. Mallard died and she cried, because she is happy. This reaction is not what one would expect in this situation. Chopin shows the tremendous conflicts and struggles between life and death in The Story of an Hour. Likewise, in The Awakening, Chopin uses symbolism and irony to add meaning to the

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