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The Story of an Hour: The Theme of Freedom

  • Word Count: 1087
  • Approx Pages: 4
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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
to behave by the society.
"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
such as "The Awakening" (1899) or ...

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The Story of an Hour: The Theme of Freedom. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 21:38, July 30, 2016, from