Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

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Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” tries to shed light on the conflict between women and a society that assign gender roles using a patriarchal approach. Specifically Margaret Bauer highlights, that most of Chopin’s works revolves around exploring the “dynamic interrelation between women and men, women and patriarchy, even women and women” (146). Similarly, in “The Story of an Hour” Chopin depicts a society that oppresses women mostly through the institution of marriage, as women are expected to remain submissive regardless of whether they derive any happiness. The question of divorce is not welcome, and it is tragic that freedom of women can only be realized through death. According to Bauer, the society depicted in Chopin’s story…show more content…
Unfortunately, Bauer highlights that a woman lack of identity and voice was uniform across all marriage institutions even within the confines of love as depicted by Mrs. Mallard statement “And yet she had loved him—sometimes…” (Chopin 261; Bauer 150). According to Bauer, it seems like marriage is an institution that saves women from their own inadequacy because they are not in a position to reason on their own. This perception obviously brainwashes women and they stop thinking of a life beyond their husbands (Bauer 151). From the story, although Mrs. Mallard is excited about the newly found freedom, she is so brainwashed and she starts lamenting that There would be no one to live for during those coming years; she would live for herself. There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature. A kind intention or a cruel intention made the act seem no less a crime as she looked upon it in that brief moment of illumination. (Chopin 260) The above quote indicates that society expects women to forgo their interests and strive to please the men in their lives. As a result, the kind of suppression that a woman is expected to undertake brainwashes their mind and takes away their

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