The Story Of An Hour And Athenaïse Analysis

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Females are forced to lose their individuality to societal expectations and marriage. In “The Story of An Hour” by Kate Chopin and “Athénaïse” by Kate Chopin, she conveys this theme in different ways. In this time period, women were just considered wives according to society. Many women fought for the individualism that they were being denied. In both short stories they conform to society’s expectations, despite the desire for individual aspiration and identity. Kate Chopin conveys the theme that marriage forces women to conform to society 's expectations while causing them to lose their individualism and freedom through character and internal dialogue in her work “The Story of An Hour” and character and setting in her work “Athénaïse”.
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This conflict is also internal, Athénaïse is forced to choose between marriage or her true self. Athénaïse is married to Cazeau, but she hates being married, “It’s just being married that I detes’ an’ despise. I hate being Mrs. Cazeau , an’ would want to be Athenaise Miche again. I can’t stand to live with a man: to have him here always.” What she finds so difficult to accept is the way that marriage represents a kind of repressive ownership that strips her of her freedom. After a few weeks, she feels imprisoned in the marriage. “A trap set for the feet of the unwary and unsuspecting girls.” She openly and fiercely displays signs of discontent. After she escapes from marriage and heads to New Orleans, she starts to feel free and herself. However, she feels homesick - she needed the breathing space and freedom. The pregnancy transforms as Athénaïse as "her whole being was stepped in a wave of ecstasy.” It acts as a sexual initiation. Thinking of her husband, she finds herself "impatient to be with him" and "her whole passionate nature aroused as if by a miracle." She goes back to her husband, that she now passionately cares for. Her identity as a sensuous being has been awakened by her pregnancy, and her erotic feelings are channelled towards her husband as she returns a more mature woman. A strong, vibrant woman desperately seeking a better existence, settles for the ordinary satisfactions of motherhood and life with a domineering husband. In “Athénaïse” the aspect that children help strengthen the bond of husband and wife is added. The character shows this because at first she hated being married, but at the end her view is flipped when she finds out that she is pregnant. She is forced to marry by her parents and society. In Kate Chopin’s “Athénaïse”, the author is saying that marriage forces woman to conform to society 's expectations while causing them to lose their individualism and freedom, and

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