Feminist In The Story Of An Hour By Kate Chopin

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“The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin examines the constraints of marriage from a nineteenth century point of view. Chopin cleverly disguises her feminist perspective in this story by concealing her true motives for the conservative audience that would have read this during her time. Chopin did not identify as a feminist, however, the content of her writing is packed with liberating female characters and ideas that were radical for the nineteenth century. As a result “The Story of an Hour” was initially rejected by publishers. Although, it is still debated whether or not Chopin was truly a feminist; deeper investigation into the text gives us an understanding of the oppression women experienced in their marriages due to inequality during the …show more content…
Initially the main character Louise is strictly referred to as “Mrs. Mallard”. Although, this may seem insignificant, Chopin does this intentionally to portray the importance that society places on titles that indicate a woman 's marital status. The title’s that are assigned to married and single women have been criticized by feminists due to the importance society places on knowing whether a female is single or not when addressing them; yet the same standard is not held when titling males. Chopin may have held this view too, but did not want to explicitly share her views on this issue, so instead she craftily weaves it into her story. In support of this theory, following her revelations on marriage and freedom following her husband death, Chopin later refers to her as Louise; giving her an identity that is hers and not associated with her marriage. The author also uses external cues from the environment to expose the epiphany that the main character is experiencing internally. To readers that examine this story superficially, it appears to be nothing more than colorful language and splashy setting, however, Chopin does this intentionally to conceal her interpretation of marriage from traditional critics. The epiphany begins with Louise looking out her window and noticing the beauty of spring and nature. She begins to describe the air, the trees, the animals, and the life on the street; and then she illustrates the sky: “[t]here were patches of blue sky showing here and there through the clouds that had met and piled one above the other in the west facing her window.” Chopin uses this description to illustrate Louise Mallard 's emotional state and uses it as a metaphor for the realization of her new found freedom. The clouds represent the uncertainty and gloominess she viewed as her future prior to the knowledge of her husband’s death, whereas, the blue patches of sky are a metaphor

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