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Women Struggling with their Marriages in Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour" and "Desiree's Baby"

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Kate Chopin is an American author who wrote two novels and about a hundred short stories in the 1890s. Most of her fiction is set in Louisiana and most of her work focuses on the lives of intelligent women. Two widely known short stories that Chopin wrote are The Story of an Hour and Desiree’s Baby. Both stories are about women who have struggling relationships with their husbands. The Story of an Hour is about a woman, Mrs. Mallard, who suffers with a heart problem. Her husband’s friend, Richards, and her sister Josephine have to tell Mrs. Mallard that her husband has died in a train accident. They are both concerned that this news might danger Mrs. Mallard’s health. However, when Mrs. Mallard hears about the news, she feels excitement…show more content…
After their marriage, Desiree gives birth to a son. Within a few months, Armand is avoiding spending time with Desiree and their son. One day, she watches a slave fanning her child. She suddenly sees the resemblance between the slave and her own child. When Armand comes, he says that the child is not white, and therefore she is not white. Desiree writes to her mother for an explanation, and her mother responds by telling her to come home. Desiree shows the letter to Armand and asks if he wants her to leave. He answers yes, and she goes outside. Instead of walking on the road, she walks across fields and her and her child are never seen again. A short time after, Armand is burning Desiree’s possessions. He finds a letter his mother sent his father. In it, Armand’s mother says how pleased she is that their son will never know that his mother is of African descent. In both short stories, Chopin uses various rhetorical devices to further the detail of the stories. In The Story of an Hour, Mrs. Mallard is sobbing, as a “child who had cried itself to sleep continues to sob in its dreams.” Mrs. Mallard is crying so much that she is crying “in her dreams,” seeming as if she won’t stop crying. “She carried herself unwittingly like a goddess of Victory.” She feels victorious in a way, winning her freedom. However, she cannot appear victorious, as she must appear grieving. Mrs. Mallard is being pushed
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