The Repression Of Women In Kate Chopin's Story Of An Hour

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It is hard to imagine living in a male dominated world in modern day society but that was not the case a couple of centuries ago. Women in the 19th century often felt oppressed; back then women had no rights and were totally dependent on men. Women in the 19th century were assumed to desire marriage, and children. The thought of a woman leaving her husband in that time period was considered deplorable and immoral, which often led to women feeling trapped within their marriages. In Kate Chopin’s “Story of an Hour”, Chopin critiques the physiological repression women endured in the 19th century through the main character Louise Mallard’s final hour of life.

In the very beginning of “The story of an Hour”, readers are introduced to Louise Mallard., Josephine, Mrs. Mallard’s sister, and Richard who is Mrs. Mallard’s husband’s friend. Richard comes across news of Brently Mallard’s passing in a railroad accident. Richard swiftly delivers the news to Josephine who carefully tries to break the tragedy of Mr. Mallard’s passing to her sister. Upon hearing the unexpected news Mrs. Mallard weeps and then retreats into her room where she stares through an open window and starts to contemplate her life without marriage. Something then begins to “possess her” (129) she begins recognize the feeling, and begins to whisper “Free, free, free!” (129) repeatedly. Though Mrs. Mallard is aroused by her new-found freedom; she knows she will weep again for husband, but the thought quickly fades. Josephine hearing her sister
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Mallard and the society in which she lives. Mrs. Mallard is suffering under the repression of her culture. Chopin writes, “She breathed a quick prayer that life might me long. It was only yesterday she had thought with a shudder that life might be long” (130) indicating that Mrs. Mallards physiological repression was is so deep ,that even death seems easier than having to speak up against her

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