Catherine (Kate) O’Flaherty, better known as Kate Chopin, was born in St. Louis, Missouri on 8 February 1850 into a prominent family. Her father was Irish and mother of French decent; thus she was brought up speaking both English and French (Koloski, B. 2010). Her upbringing was much like many girls growing up in the late 19th Century. She grew up during the time of emergence for equality in America, more specifically the abolition of slavery, with feminism in its infancy. In 1889, Kate began writing fictional stories as a means of taking care of her six children after the death of her husband. One of her most controversial writings was The Awakening , in which a woman is faced with decisions against social norms and conventional gender roles (Ringe, D. A. 1972). It is evident the pronounced presence of oppression in which she would most definitely have experienced, either directly or indirectly, influenced her writing and the role of her contributions to the rise of feminism. Kate’s writing encompasses personal events and ideals within her own life.
The Story of an Hour is a short story which describes the emotional response a widow expresses both initially and within the time of an hour after she is notified of her husband’s tragic death. The thing which makes the story so attractive is the anticipation of the reaction of the widower, Mrs. Mallard. Will her heart cease to beat due to a broken heart and her affliction? Will the death of her husband anger her or will she be overcome with sorrow? Also, the imagery described is easy to imagine as most everyone has experienced these sensations, for example, “…The delicious breath of rain was in the air… and countless sparrows were twittering in the eaves” (Clugston, R.W. 2010). The situation itself, maybe easy to relate to for most individuals, as most everyone has experienced the loss of a loved one. The ability of the reader to connect to the environment and the main character is engaging, enticing the reader...
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