The short story “The Story of an Hour” by Kate O’Flaherty Chopin is about a young woman who is told of her husband’s death and how, in one hour, her life was changed forever. Kate’s life was in some ways similar to that of Mrs. Mallard’s, I believe her true feelings were reflected in her many writings.
People who read her stories, particularly “The Story of an Hour” may have several different views of what the meaning might be, but because Kate lived in a time when women were expected to obey their husband, it makes me think that Kate may have felt the same way she portrayed the main character to feel when her husband died in 1883. (526)
There are other stories that are about a woman having freedoms that weren’t allowed or even heard of in Kate’s lifetime. “The Awakening” was published in 1899 causing uproar because of the message it conveys and she was denied entrance into the St. Louis Fine Art Club based on it. (Biography of Kate Chopin) Kate lived in the same era as her story appears to be in, she was married to a man who also was killed, but by swamp fever in 1882, at that time she was only 32 years old so she had the rest of her life to look forward to and in 1884 she decided to move back home with her mother and eventually started her writing career. (Biography of Kate Chopin)
Kate’s reason for writing was possibly to get her feelings out, to express them to not only one person but to the world. Maybe she didn’t have anyone close enough to her to talk to in confidentiality, or maybe to persuade other people to view life differently. She saw a future of how she thought things should change for women so she wanted other women who were in her situation to have hope for change also. The main audience for her stories were more than likely other women who wanted to have a sense of freedom, most of them probably stuck in a marriage taking care of their several children and tending to things at home all day. In that time divorce...
Cited: Chopin, Kate. “The Story of an Hour.” (526-529) The Prentice Hall Guide for College Writers. Ed. Reid Stephen. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2011, 2008, 2006. Print.
Wyatt, Neal. "Biography of Kate Chopin." VCU.EDU. 1995. Web. 08 Oct. 2011.
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