Two Old Women

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In the Deep South women were always known of as housewives. They were not given individual identities but rather a collective personality that all women possessed. Kate Chopin uses this theme of the individuality of women in all of her short stories and other writings. In The Story of An Hour, Chopin expresses this very well, using the character Louise Mallard. As in Chopin’s typical stories, Louise Mallard is a woman looking for her inner self and thinks she found it but goes through a hard time and attempts to overcome it while having a positive outlook on life. However, through her marriage she has been a patient, self-sacrificing, restless woman who believed she was given a chance to change her life around for the better, which ultimately led to her demise.

Louise Mallard has been married to Brently Mallard for quite some time. She has become sick of the standard routine lifestyle that she has been sucked into, the stay at home wife with no excitement. She has no job, very little friends and lives with just her husband. Mrs. Mallard was given news one day about her husband and a railroad accident. The opening sentence which states, “Knowing that Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with heart trouble, great care was taken to break to her as gently as possible the news of her husband’s death”, sums up what the short story is about. Louise has had a heart condition for a while and the news of her husband’s death was told to her in the softest way possible so she would not have her heart cause any further complications. Louise’s sister, Josephine told her of the disastrous news and Louise immediately fell weeping in tears in her sister’s arms. She realized after thinking about the whole situation that her love for her husband was not as strong as she thought it was. This lack of love for her husband can be better seen when Chopin writes, “And yet she had loved him-sometimes. Often she had not. What did it matter!” These thoughts have been racing through...
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