Femininity In Kate Chopin's The Story Of An Hour

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“The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin tells a story of what it was like to be a woman in the 1800’s. Women during this time were deemed to only fulfill the needs of their husbands. Dependence was a natural state for women; they were never allowed to have an independent thought or life. The patriarchal code set forth at the time when the story took place made women the submissive partner, while the men were the dominant. Practically leaving women with minimal rights in their marriage. Kate Chopin compellingly describes how a woman’s grief quickly becomes her eminent epiphany in that she realized that she had become a free woman. Due to the fact that this story was written in 1894, it is eye opening to see how a woman’s yearning for freedom …show more content…
As expected by the sister and the reader, she breaks down into tears and disbelief over her husband’s passing. Once she excuses herself to her room the expectation would be for Louise to lash out her anger or reminisce and weep for her husband. Instead Chopin turns it around, Louise is settled, ”comfortably,” into a couch. Where Louise should be looking out the window and seeing signs of darkness or hopelessness, ironically she is noticing the qualities of renewal and birth. “...Delicious breath of rain...singing reached her faintly...countless sparrows...patches of blue sky through the cloud” (Chopin, 1894). All she sees are images furthest away from death, or negativity. The reader is told that Mrs. Mallard does not react like other women, “She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance” (Chopin, 1894). Louise not responding as a “proper” woman should, is indicative of her emotional nature not matching to what has been established as the “normal“ feminine …show more content…
With the assistance of a feminist lens one can see deeper than that, one can see how a woman is depicted as fragile because she does not fall within the social norms of femininity, being a woman also causes her to oppressed in her marriage, leading to her not having an identity. The time period plays a role in the lack of voice Mrs. Mallard has because as a wife during this time the husband is expected to hold the power of over every aspect of the wife’s life, so when freedom came to Mrs. Mallard, she did not know how to embrace it even though this is what she has been yearning for. Because of oppression and the implication of what is the expected femininity there is a false identity created for women leaving them no room to develop a true identity due to lack of

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