Summary Of The Story Of The Hour By Kate Chopin

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The life of Kate Chopin started in a world of women. Following the tragic death of her father, the author lived with her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. The late 1800s was a tumultuous time in the United States. The cultural scene of the country was changing quickly, and for the first time, women brought private and personal issues into the public domain. This author portrays the lives of women in a world controlled by male dominance while developing their individual personalities. Chopin’s characters were usually socially accepted but rebelled against the social codes of the day. The Victorian period that shaped Chopin’s life was the subject used in many of her writings and the settings of her short stories and novels exist …show more content…
From sexuality and education to marriage and rights the Victorian society polarized women and expected them to stick to the rigidly defined rules of the day. Without a public voice, Chopin used the art of writing to make her politically incorrect comments to the world. In these short stories, Kate Chopin deals with the issues of self-discovery, the role of love, sexuality, race, and marriage as experienced by women in the morally restricted 19th-century. Needless to say, these subjects were not popular in an era when women were not even allowed to vote! The women Kate Chopin wrote about were not unusual characters, but they chose not to follow the moral standards of the day. In “The Story of the Hour,” she explores the complexities of the married woman in Victorian times. As suggested by the title, the story takes place in the Mallard home filling only a single hour in the last half of the nineteenth-century. Early in the story, the reader discovers Mrs. Mallard has a severe heart condition, probably from the constant stress of her difficult marriage. The narrator indicates the heart condition exists with no other explanation offered. Traditionally, the heart represents the emotional …show more content…
“Désirée’s Baby” is the story of love, marriage, and loss which points directly to the traditional values of society’s view of race and the social norms of the time. As Armand sees Désirée for the first time, a real passion develops within him. Love at first sight, and the reader can easily picture this scene in their minds. Unlike modern love stories, after the birth of the child, there is an unexplained feeling that develops. When Désirée questions Armand about the child’s appearance, she asks, “Look at our child. What does it mean? Tell me” (line 58). Armand’s reply shocks the reader, who probably has imagined the romance in their marital bliss. His response to Désirée’s question was, “It means that the child is not white; it means that you are not white” (line 60). The cruelty of this statement devastates Désirée and the reader. As Shen observed, “Armand considered himself white and his wife and son black, it was a natural response” (298). Ironically, after Désirée leaves, Armand finds the proof of his mistakes. An old letter from his mother written to his father explaining that it was she who was black. Armand now knows it is he, not Désirée who carries the black blood. As the story concludes, the marriage has ended, but Désirée’s fate is not clear. She “did not take the broad, beaten

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