The Theme of Chopin's "Story of an Hour"

Topics: 19th century, Fiction, Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pages: 3 (986 words) Published: August 9, 2011
The Theme of Chopin’s Story of an Hour

Literature uses written word to inspire readers and help them “become” part of the story. This escape route for readers is often the hook that catches them in the lip. In Kate Chopin’s The Story of an Hour, the literary elements that are planted so carefully throughout incite curiosity and pique the interest of its audience. This ironic tale is written in such a way that it was still considered for publication in the early 19th century, while also conveying the message of oppression among women. This theme can be applied to many women of the time who felt trapped in a marriage as merely a possession instead of an equally respected partner in the relationship. The theme of a literary work is a depiction of the inspiration behind the story (Clugston, 2010). The theme of Kate Chopin’s Story of an Hour is one of oppression and repression built on literary elements of setting, character, symbolism, and point of view. The setting for this story is the Mallard homestead, and it took place in late nineteenth century when women were expected to do little more than keep house, cook, bear and raise children. Even the best efforts of women’s-rights activists such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and Susan B. Anthony were not enough for women to even receive the right to vote by the end of the century. Taking this stereotypical treatment into account The Story of an Hour hints that Mrs. Mallard’s husband, likely a man of the times, dominated his wife. Mrs. Mallard likely repressed her desire to be in charge of her own life; thereby causing stress in her life and marriage. This stress is probably the culprit of Mrs. Mallard’s heart troubles referred to in the first sentence of this story. The main character, Mrs. Mallard, is introduced as a woman with a weak heart who is unaware of her husband’s recent demise. Her sister, Josephine, and her husband’s friend, Richards, were the chosen bearers to break...

References: Clugston, R. W. (2010). Journey into literature. San Diego, California: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
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