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The Story of an Hour: The Theme of Freedom

  • Word Count: 1087
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             The author, Kate Chopin (born: 1850; died: 1904) is believed by many
             critics to have been far ahead of her time. She wrote on feminist issues
             during a period when women were considered as no more than mere possessions
             of their husbands and "women's liberation," far from being practiced, did
             not even exist as a word. Her writing style was based on objectivity bereft
             of any semblance of "preaching," which make her stories effective and
             realistic. In "The Story of an Hour" she explores the stark difference in
             the private feelings of a nineteenth century woman and how she is expected
             "The Story…" is considered by many to be an autobiographical depiction
             of Kate Chopin's own life as the author's husband had died when she was
             relatively young. According to other critics, however, the story is a
             musing by the author about her mother's (Eliza O'Flaherty) marriage and
             read it as a criticism of institution of marriage that traps women and
             takes away their freedom. (Toth, p. 10)
             There can hardly be any argument on the fact that "Freedom" is one of
             the most cherished of human desires. It is, unfortunately, denied to a
             large number of people by their fellow-men under different pretexts,
             including "protection," "possession" and even "love." Women have been the
             victims of male chauvinism in a traditionally patriarchal world since times
             immemorial. Even in the western society, women's emancipation is a recent
             phenomenon. In the "Story," Chopin has depicted how an apparently happy
             marriage can be so restrictive for a woman that it stifles all initiative
             and freedom in her. So much so that even an apparently disastrous event
             such as the death of her husband may prove to be a source of opportunity
             and joy for a woman. This may seem like an odd observation to those who are
             unfamiliar with the writings of Chopin. Those who have read Chopin's works

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The Story of an Hour: The Theme of Freedom. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 18:44, October 25, 2016, from