What Is The Theme Of Freedom In The Story Of An Hour

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There is a trend in history that a woman must depend on and devote herself to a man. In the text “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin, it emphasizes this idea very clearly. Although the text was written in 1895, the same attitude within it is present in today’s culture. The manner in which the characters treat each other and the fear of the unexpected emotions from the situation, are still very relevant in today’s society. The story casts light on the way women feel trapped in their personal relationships. In the story there are many symbols of freedom and what is means to be free. The story began with Mrs. Mallard being told about her husband’s death. The family friends awaiting to give her the news, treated her as if she is a fragile piece …show more content…
Mallard has to look forward to after the passing of her husband. In the text, the descriptions of what Mrs. Mallard is doing alone in her room symbolizes freedom. When she goes to her room, presumably to grieve, she is actually realizing her future. The narrator speaks of her looking out of an open window at patches of blue skies (426). The window is being used as a representative of the open opportunities in which she will now experience. The text also mentions tree tops, birds twittering, and the smell of a coming rain storm, indicating that this is taking place during the springtime which is known for new life (425). The text describes her way of looking out of the window as a, “suspension of intelligent thought” (426). This passage leads readers to believe that she has now, only after looking through the window, gained intelligence. Mrs. Mallard can now think for herself and no longer needs a man to do it for her. The enlightenment of the open window has given her the chance to be a liberated person with all the opportunities the world has to offer her. Little does she know, that this new found freedom will cost Mrs. Mallard her …show more content…
The story has an ironic twist at its end. The friends of Mrs. Mallard were concerned that the news of her husband’s death would surely kill her; however, it was the news of him being alive that ends her life. The narrator, at the end of the text, goes on to say, “When the doctor came they said she had died of heart disease – of joy that kills” (427). The irony is in the fact that it was the loss of joy and freedom in her life to come that lead to her death. Mr. Mallard being alive means that Mrs. Mallard will have a continuous life of servitude for her husband and the thought of this kills her instantly. She was ready to start her life as a new woman, the text describes her opening the bedroom door and exiting with confidence and descended the stairs like, “A goddess of victory” (426). This text shows the ultimate powers of the pressure put on women. Although Mrs. Mallard never pin points a specific way in which Mr. Mallard dominated her, it was very apparent that under him she was a completely different person who had devoted herself to her marriage to him. On her own she was sure to do things the way she wanted, but with him back in the picture she could no longer bare the life she was sure to endure. In conclusion, the text “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin, emphasizes the view of women, all throughout history, as caretakers. Even giving the date in which the text was written, the attitude in it is still relevant

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