Oppressive: Oppression and Mrs. Mallard

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Oppressiveness At Its Finest

Imagine living in a world with no independence. Imagine that in this world, none of your beliefs mattered and everything that you had to say was being oppressed. Then one day this oppression was gone, and you were given freedom to do and say whatever you wanted. You find out at the end of the day that the feeling of being free was only temporary. How would you feel? In the short story, “Story of an Hour,” written by Kate Chopin, Mrs. Mallard is this person living in this oppressed world that is known as marriage. The theme of "The Story of an Hour" is the joy of independence, and the joy of being free, despite the circumstances. Mrs. Mallard has heart problems, and she hears the news that her husband, Brently, has died in a train accident from her sister, Josephine, and her husband's friend, Richards. At first she starts crying thinking about abandonment, but that ceased when Mrs. Mallard goes to her room. She becomes filled with joy when she realizes that she is free. Louise and Brently love each other, but Louise still feels oppressed. Louise feels oppressed because Chopin lived from 1851-1904 and during those times women's rights weren't a priority. The wives were supposed to listen to their husbands and do as they said. The story never talks about Brently forcing Louise to do anything, but when Louise is being described, it states: "She was young, with a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression and even a certain strength" ( 516). Mrs. Mallard's lines on her face are caused by repression. She has a strength of being a woman and is able to handle being in a marriage. When Louise is sitting in her room staring out the window at the sky, she realizes she has regained her independence and is excited about it. She is free! She thinks about the future and feels a joy about living for herself and says a quick prayer that her life will be long. On page 517 it states, "There would be no powerful will bending...
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