Kate Chopin: Women's Rights

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Women’s Rights
Kate Chopin is an American feminist fiction writer and a woman ahead of the time. Similar to the female characters in her stories, Chopin was an independent woman. She would often smoke cigarettes or walk in the streets unaccompanied; these practices were considered unusual for a nineteenth-century woman to do. “The Story of an Hour” is one of Chopin's feministic short stories that focus on women and their views on marriage. It was published in 1894 and shows self-assertion when the protagonist, Louise Mallard, rejoices after hearing of her husband's death. Kate Chopin, the author of “The Story of an Hour” uses symbols to expose her point about the control of women in a male-dominated society.

Chopin uses symbols such as “ She could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life.” (paragraph 5, Chopin). Through the open window she sees many other symbols furthering the feelings of goodness in the reader. She sees the tops of trees that "were all aquiver with the new spring life" symbolizing a new life to come, something new happening in her life. She uses “Springtime” to show not only the new life that Mrs. Mallard is waiting for but that women in the Ninteenth-Century were becoming more independence. Which in turn could mean a “new life”. Society in late Ninteenth-Century expected women to keep house, cook, bear and rear children but little more. Despite efforts of women’s rights activists such as Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony, women still had not received the right to vote in national elections by century’s end. “The Story of an Hour” hints that Mrs. Mallard’s husband–perhaps a typical husband of his day–dominated his wife.

During the Ninteenth-Century, women went to great changes to get marriage laws to be “normal” again. The situation that fathers always received custody of their children, leaving the mother completely without any rights, slowly...
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