28 September 2014
Word Count 701
An Oppressed Woman
“The Story of an Hour”, written by Kate Chopin, describes how oppressed a woman, Louise Mallard, was in her marriage. In the 19th century, women did not have much say so. Back then they were required to do house work, cook, take care of the children, and provide a happy home for their husband. The author, who is a feminist, used the character Mrs. Mallard to demonstrate her reaction to her husband’s death, her selfish joy of freedom and the shocking death of her own.
Mrs. Mallard was a young woman “afflicted with a heart trouble” (15) and the cause was unknown. One day, Mrs. Mallard was given horrific news of her husband’s death by her sister Josephine and Mr. Mallard’s friend Richard. The news was broken to her softly. She wept tears of sorrow in her sister’s arms before going upstairs to her bedroom. In her room she sat in this comfortable recliner facing the wide window. While sitting in her recliner, she sobbed a bit more “as a child who has cried itself to sleep” (15). As the fresh air entered the room followed by the sounds of sparrows singing and someone singing from afar, suddenly Mrs. Mallard were surprised with a nice easy breeze of life. Instantly, she felled a change as she started to acknowledge that her husband had gotten killed in this train wreck, a selfish sense of happiness. She starts to realize that she no longer would be captured like a trapped animal, that she was free. She said, “Free! Body and soul free!” (16). She was happy that she no longer had anyone to live for her but that “she would live for herself” (16). She was soaking in the fact that she would have long summer and spring days and that all days would be hers alone to enjoy anyway that she saw fit; “she was drinking in a very elixir of life through that opened window”(16). She was thrilled that she had escaped the isolation of marriage. Perhaps, for the first time she was...
Cited: Chopin, Kate. “The Story of an Hour.” The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature. Ed. Michael Meyer. 10th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2014. 15-16. Print.
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