Escape to Feminism
Feminism appears in many different types of medias around the world. Some of the first beginnings of feminism appeared in literature. A feminist writer's work often portrays women as very strong and independent. Kate Chopin reveals her feminism throughout most of her works. In two of her works, “The Story of an Hour” and “Désirée’s Baby”, feminism is expressed through journey two women take to escape to freedom from unsatisfying marriages. Neither of the husbands in either story are good representations of what a loving husband should be. Although, Mrs. Mallard nor Désirée are physically abused, there are many different types of abuse. Their husbands’ abuse reveals in the control they had over their wives and marriages. Both women feel trapped in what lives these men have put them in. In “The Story of an Hour”, Mrs. Mallard’s husband forces her to live in a false marriage where all happiness and love does not exist. Mrs. Mallard feels trapped because she cannot do anything about this so late in her lifetime, and her heart consumes her sadness. Chopin states that Mrs. Mallard suffers “heart trouble” (Chopin 159). Chopin purposely meant for the affliction to symbolize a broken heart. The phrase “broken heart” has turned into a cliché phrase. If each word of the phrase is taken apart and examined, their definition leads to a different understanding. The term “broken” often refers to a loss or gloomy realization, and “heart” usually coincides with love. Mrs. Mallard has a “broken” soul; love is not at all what she imagined it to be. All of her dreams and the innocence that she had about the idea of love never came true. Her husband empties all the happiness and joy right out of her leaving her lifeless and broken leaving Mrs. Mallard trapped. In “Désirée’s Baby”, Chopin characterizes Désirée’s marriage differently than that of Mrs. Mallard. Désirée’s husband’s love for Désirée is described as being “struck by a pistol shot”...
Cited: Chopin, Kate. "Désirée 's Baby." Prentice Hall Literature Portfolio. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2006. 161-65. Print.
Chopin, Kate. "The Story of an Hour." Prentice Hall Literature Portfolio. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2007. 159-61. Print.
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