Critical Perspective

Topics: Love, Marriage, Periodization Pages: 2 (659 words) Published: March 9, 2013
Critical Perspective
Kate Chopin frequently uses stories showing a desire for freedom. In the story, “The Story of an Hour” wanting freedom is on display. This is Chopin’s sense of uncertainty and her difficult way of seeing life. Freedom is being expressed by the character Louise Mallard after hearing that her husband has been killed in a train accident. She feels free because her husband is controlling and she could not take it anymore. This story focuses on female oppression in marriages of the nineteenth century. During this time period women were owned by their husbands and had no control over their own lives. The first sign of oppression is in the very first line of the story where Louise Mallard is named “Mrs. Mallard”. (115). As you can see her name is not given and she is known throughout the story as the wife of Bently Mallard. It makes it seem like she is her husband’s property when she is addressed that way. That is why she feels chained down by him because she is treated as if she is not a person herself. After she was told that her husband died she describes marriage as a crime. “There will be no powerful will bending her in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have right to impose a private will upon a fellow creature.” (116).She admits that her husband wasn’t brutal to her but she knows that having a husband stripped her rights and identity as a person. She later says that she had loved her husband sometimes. As she reflects on what love is she ends up being confused. Louise starts to question the meaning of love. At this point in the story she feels that love means very little and that it actually has nothing to do with marriage at this point in time. “And yet she had loved him—sometimes. Often she had not. What did it matter! What could love, the unsolved mystery, count for in face of this possession of self-assertion which she suddenly recognized as the strongest impulse of her being.” (116). She has come to realize...
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