The Emancipation of Mrs. Mallard

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In "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin, the author depicts how someone can be trapped in an unproductive and unsatisfying reality because of other's thoughtlessness, exploitation, and domination. When combined with the contemporary society's belief, presumably the later half of the 19th century, a further understanding of Chopin's thoughts and feelings can be realized. Mrs. Louise Mallard, the victim and messenger of this story, is the image of such a person. Her relationship with her husband is so oppressive and limiting that even death is considered a reasonable means of escape. The condition of life for Mrs. Mallard is terrible, yet for some reason she doesn't seem to come to the full realization until her husband death. This leads one to believe that was a common place for women to be unhappy in their marriage and have no conventional means of escape (divorce). However, Chopin doesn't directly make that point. Many women are in search of freedom from their marriage and they believe the only way to be free is to experience the death of their husband. Mrs. Louise Mallard is a repressed married woman that has a heart condition and the reaction to her husband's presumed death is a sign that she is unhappy. After hearing the tragic news she goes up stairs and looks out an open window and notices "new spring life", the delicious breath of rain", and " countless sparrows tittering in the eaves." As she looks out the window among the storm clouds, she stares at patches of the blue sky. "It was not a glance of reflection, but rather indicted a suspension of intelligent thought." Louise is not grieving over the death of her husband nor is she having negative thoughts about her future. She is realizing that she will have freedom through her husband death and whispers over and over, "free, free, free!" Her unhappiness is not with her husband, it is her rankings in society and becoming a widow is her only chance she has to gain the power, money, respect, and...
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