The Story of an Hour

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A Woman in a Prison
Marriage is a prison for genteel middle class woman of the 19th century. People feel disappointed when they lose their hope. The Story of an Hour written by Kate Chopin, who is known for the contribution of gaining women’s right, describes Mrs. Mallard has her sudden freedom when she hears about the death of her husband. The story illustrates the authority of a man has over a woman. Women are properties of men in a conservative society, so it is hard for women to have their own lives. The Story of an Hour is a short story which Chopin illustrates women’s desire to escape their marital prison, and the whole story is a symbol to show the situation that women encounter during the 19th century.

Marriage is a prison, and the sentence lasts the whole life of a woman in the 19th century. Even now in the 21st century, many women still have no rights to make decision. The patriarchy lasts till now, although women’s right improves compared to 19th century. In the story, Mrs. Mallard feels free only after her husband has died. Chopin uses a direct and simple sentence to describe the love between them: “And yet she loved him – sometimes. Often she had not” (307). Mrs. Mallard has spent her life with someone whom she seldom loves. Mrs. Mallard did love her husband in the beginning, but the love became less and less as the marriage turned into life sentence for her. “Free, Free, Free” while Mrs. Mallard says under her breath just like a prisoner who is freed from jail (307). Her mantra represents the awakening of a woman who has lived dependently on her husband. The first meaning of “free” can be interpreted as the turning point of Mrs. Mallard’s mind when she realizes that she is going to have a new life. People can also interpret that Mrs. Mallard wants her own life since she was bound in marriage. In the 19th century, a married woman had to obey her husband, and it has been the reason for Mrs. Mallard to get tired of the marriage. However, divorce is...
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