The Story Of An Hour And A Respectable Woman

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Women’s role in society has greatly changed since the 19th century, which is the time period that “The Story of an Hour” and “A Respectable Woman” are set in. In these stories, Kate Chopin describes the emotions of a woman after discovering that her husband is dead, as well as the internal conflict within a woman who is tempted to cheat on her husband. They are both centered around independence in a setting that does not typically promote such things for women. Therefore, with such outlandish concepts for that time period, it is greatly indicative of the author’s beliefs. Thus, “The Story of an Hour” and “A Respectable Woman” reflect Kate Chopin’s beliefs about marriage, societal expectations, and female independence through the characterization of her female leads. Chopin makes her position on marriage clear in her portrayal of a woman who has found out that her husband is dead. Despite initially mourning him in “The Story of an Hour,” Louise Mallard is completely overjoyed after the morbid discovery. She is so elated that she even chants to herself: “‘Free, free, free!’” (Chopin 164). Any sort of ambiguity about the chanted word is negated when the narrator explicitly states that, “There would be no one to live for her during those coming years; she would live for herself” (Chopin 165). Both of these quotes are highly suggestive about Chopin’s beliefs. They portray marriage as a burden, or as a punishment inflicted on a person rather than a union between two people in

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