Lit Review

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Elisabeth Caughel

Professor Mills

ENC 1102

13 March 2013

Literature Review: Women Revolutionized by Chopin’s ‘Story of an Hour’

Being ahead of her time, Kate Chopin’s work focused on female empowerment. It became relevant in her stories of female independence and freedom. In her writing, she portrayed women in a way nobody understood or could comprehend. Her stories inspired women to believe in themselves and their freedom to make choices for themselves. In her short story, “Story of an Hour,” she write about how the death of a husband empowering a woman with an abrupt sense of freedom and independence. This was a time when women had restrictions on what was appropriate for them. It was liberating and beyond what women were used to reading in American literature. She illuminated freedom for women in a time where there was major restriction. She became independent in her personal life and correlated independence in her stories, in a time where that was very rare. Coming from the south, Chopin had a sultry southern sensuality. (Evans, Robert) It was relevant in the way she wrote. She gave women a voice in which they were not used to. Restrictive ties to men such as, husbands, boyfriends, fathers, and brothers, kept women from becoming independent. In “Story of an Hour,” the main character, Mrs. Mallard feels a very deep level of liberation after the death of her husband. “Chopin knew women were much more likely to feel oppressed in her culture than men.” (Evans, Robert) In an article explaining an old culture where we were living in a world where woman cannot vote, they cannot own property, or hold elected office. (Hacht, Anne Marie) Many women did not have any choice, and lived with cultural influenced restrictions as homemaker. It was researched that “until comparatively recent times, most women lived in a such a world, for discrimination based on gender was the rule in almost every culture.” Which explains later...
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