Paul Newman once said, “People stay married because they want to, not because the doors are locked” (74). There is no such thing as the perfect relationship, however, being involved in a healthy relationship is essential for a person to feel valued, safe, and happy. Unfortunately, in the situation of Kelly Sundberg’s personal essay “It Will Look Like a Sunset,” and Kate Chopin’s short story “The Story of An Hour,” include extreme examples of unhealthy relationships. The essay “It Will Look Like a Sunset,” shares painful experiences of Sundberg’s physical and emotional abusive relationship with her husband Caleb, while “The Story of an Hour,” shares a rare reaction of a married woman, Louise Mallard, who explores her emotions cautiously when hearing about the death of her husband. Each woman faces their own prison created by their husbands. The two marriages represent the figurative meaning of doors being locked in a marriage. Both pieces of literature convey the theme of confinement by using the literary devices of foreshadowing, imagery, and conflict.
Kate Chopin's short story 'The Storm'; describes an encounter of infidelity between two lovers during a brief thunderstorm. The story alludes to the controversial topic of women's sexuality and passion, which during Chopin's time no one spoke about much less wrote about. So controversial was 'The Storm,'; that it was not published until after her death in eighteen ninety-nine. The story is broken up into five sections, each filled with small clues and hints that reflect her message. In short, Kate Chopin's 'The Storm'; is about a confirmation of feminine sexuality and passion and a rejection of the suppression of it by society.
In Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” allows one to explore many ironic instances throughout the story, the main one in which a woman unpredictably feels free after her husband’s assumed death. Chopin uses Mrs. Mallard’s bizarre story to illustrate the struggles of reaching personal freedom and trying to be true to yourself to reach self-assertion while being a part of something else, like a marriage. In “The Story of an Hour” the main character, Mrs. Mallard, celebrates the death of her husband, yet Chopin uses several ironic situations and certain symbols to criticize the behavior of Mrs. Mallard during the time of her “loving” husband’s assumed death.
In the story "The Storm", Kate Chopin plots a situation in which two people surrender to their physical desires. Chopin wrote fiction stories in the late 19th century. She was condemned due to the immorality presented in her work. At her times, woman was considered to be very innocent, and always faithful to her husband. In Chopin's work one sees a totally different view of a woman's behavior. She is not a popular writer of her era because of her crude works; the audience of her period could not justify her stories. In the story "the storm", Kate Chopin by hiding the immoral behavior of her characters behind the fear of bad weather is being ironic.
Commonly explored throughout her works, the idea of marriage inhibiting a woman’s freedom is the driving force behind Kate Chopin’s contextual objections to propriety. In particular, The Awakening and “The Story of an Hour” explore the lives of women seeking marital liberation and individuality. Mrs. Chopin, who was raised in a matriarchal household, expresses her opposition to the nineteenth century patriarchal society while using her personal experiences to exemplify her feminist views.
With the passing of the storm and the departure of Alcee, Calixta does not revert to her subordinate housewife bonds. Instead, she uses her awakening to discover newfound happiness in her marriage and duties as a wife and mother. When Bobinot and Bibi return, the reader sees a different Calixta than the downtrodden, worried, and selfless Calixta from the beginning of the story. In fact, it is the father and son who must begin ?to relax and enjoy themselves,? not Calixta, who is already joyously preparing dinner (861). At the dinner table, ?they laughed much and so loud that anyone might have heard them? (861). The only other time
Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark” examine the complex relationship between a husband and wife. The two works take two different approaches to convey the same message: Marriage is not a fairytale, it requires sacrifice and unselfish behavior in order to work. Relationships are difficult to begin and harder to maintain. Mr. and Mrs. Mallard and Aylmer and Georgiana are two relationships that shatter the surreal perception of marriage and expose readers to the raw truth, marriage is not a fairytale.
In “The Storm” Kate Chopin makes the setting an essential and entwined part of her action and ideas. The story focuses on the two main characters, Calixta and Alcee and their short love affair. The action is taking place in a small town in Louisiana where all of the characters live. The story is set in the late nineteenth century when adultery was not expected from anyone, as woman were considered to be innocent and faithful. The integration of setting and story can be followed in details about the storm itself, setting of the atmosphere/mood, and also the complexities of married status in the society.
The most common element found within both pieces of literature is that both women seem to be greatly selfish. In "The Story of an Hour," Mrs. Mallard seems to be overwhelmed with joy because of her husband's death. Instead of mourning in the loss of her husband, she gloats in the thought of joy and freedom. Chopin writes, "spring days, and summer days, and all sorts of days that would be her own." In resemblance to Mrs. Mallard, Calixta is also selfish. Calixta, with very little resistance, fights her temptation to be with Alcée but soon gives in to a sexual affair. Only vaguely do Mrs. Mallard and Calixta show any sympathy for their husbands.
The presence of Calixta's sexual desire and its intensity make this story revolutionary in its feminist statement about female sexuality. Chopin uses the conceit of a thunderstorm to describe the development, peak, and ebbing of passion in the encounter between Calixta and Alcee. At first, Calixta is unaware of the approaching storm, just as her sexual desire might be on an unconscious level; yet, as the storm approaches, Calixta grows warm and damp with perspiration. Chopin does the obvious by these two events when she writes that Calixta, "felt very warm . . . she unfastened her white saque at the throat. It began to grow dark and suddenly realizing the situation she got up and hurriedly went about closing windows and doors" (Part 2 Paragraph 1).
The coda to the film, in which Francesca urges them to be happy (Eastwood) because she had chosen not to be, creates resolution as her adult offspring attempt to improve their own marriages and other relationships. This means that the real message of the film is that Francesca sacrificed her own happiness so that someday, her children would be empowered to pursue their own. Instead of devastating her children as adolescents and pursuing her own happiness, Francesca chooses a lonelier life and hopes that after her death, her children are able to do what she never could: follow dreams and passions and succeed with them.
Here in the 21st century, infidelity has become the new norm. Statistics show that about 60 percent, that is more than half, of committed couples have reported acts of infidelity (Stafford). However, back in the 19th century, there was a social stigma surrounding infidelity; more often than not its participants were ostracized by the community. Times have certainly changed. In Kate Chopin’s “The Storm” and John Steinbeck’s “The Chrysanthemums”, both written approximately during the 19th century, the characters of both stories depict unfaithfulness in their marriages. Through the use of the plot, imagery, and the 19th century time period, “The Chrysanthemums” and “The Storm” depict a revolutionary era in which women not accept their sexual
Freedom and Happiness are things that have been sought after from the beginning of time, people genuinely want to feel happy. In Kate Chopin’s short story “The Storm” the main character Calixta struggles to find freedom and happiness while in her marriage. The short story proves that freedom and happiness can be found outside of the regular moral conventions of a married woman, this theme is conveyed by setting, symbolism, characterization and point of view. Together, these elements prove that there are unconventional methods that a married woman can take to achieve happiness.
Their marriage may not have passion but due to circumstances perhaps she was chosen to marry Bobinot and full fill a union without passion, in which she seeks instead through Alcee Laballiere. Calixta does show love for her family
“The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin describes an hour in the life of an oppressed woman bound by marriage in the nineteenth century. It is only when Mrs. Mallard’s husband dies in a sudden railroad accident that she realizes she is no longer tied together by the ropes of man. At first she is shocked and horrified by the tragedy, for she did say “she had loved him – sometimes” (Chopin). However, once the tears were wept, a new bountiful life of freedom was now in the eyes of Mrs. Mallard. Chopin uses imagery, third person omniscient point of view, and concepts of relief and joy in “The Story of an Hour” to convey the true feelings of Mrs. Mallard as she is freed from the strenuous and unjust oppression of women due to society’s expectation of gender roles.