Kate Chopin’s “Story of an Hour”
Finding happiness is most people’s ultimate goal in life. In “Story of an Hour,” Kate Chopin uses irony to emphasize the distress of women with their lives and in their marriages during this time period. In the 1800’s, women felt oppressed by men, yet they were very dependent on them at the same time. Like Mrs. Mallard, women had a desire for freedom and living their life for themselves, but this was looked down upon and very abnormal in that time. With the news of her husband’s passing, Mrs. Mallard seems to automatically change her outlook on life, and seems to have an identity… she is not just someone wife. All of the characters in the story pay close attention to how fragile Louise Mallard is. With the return of her husband, she experiences only moments of freedom, before the return of her oppression causes her to drop dead. It is clear quite early after the news of her husband’s passing that Mrs. Mallard finally felt as if she was freed from oppression. “There would be no powerful will bending her”(14) This implies that she never really felt like she had a voice or an opinion in the marriage, “In that blind persistence which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow creature.”(14) This shows the oppression in a marriage that both men and woman struggle with. The lack of an identity, and a sense of freedom. With her husband now gone, she would be free to be her own person. A woman’s role as seen by society at that time was to be a home maker. The text never gives any detail of Mr. and Mrs. Mallard having children. A woman’s job and really only identity was to be a wife and house mother. Mrs. Mallard is overjoyed that she has the rest of her life to herself. If she did not have any children, that most likely would have caused her to be looked down upon by society. “A long procession of years to come that would belong to her absolutely.”(13) The reasoning behind the Mallards not having...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document