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The story of an hour

In modern American society when a woman is unhappy with her love life the remedy is relatively straightforward; she can simply end her relationship with her current boyfriend or husband without having to endure any serious hardships. However, in the early nineteen hundreds the situation was quite different. It was a world where a woman is no more than a man's possession, confined to the monotonous and humble duties of loving her husband, raising the children, and maintaining the home, the concept of divorce was simply an unknown phenomenon. “The Story of an Hour,” by Kate Chopin is a good example of how, during a time when women were supposed to be subordinate to their husbands, Mrs. Mallard goes against conformity. The main character’s husband dies, and instead of being upset by it, she is thrilled to be finally free of his oppressive tyranny. Chopin uses theme, setting, and irony to express her early feminist views in a time when feminism was considered shockingly disgraceful. Outside the Mallard’s home it was springtime, the flowers were blooming, the birds were chirping and everything was new. This cheerful description of the change of season can be considered a kind of rebirth of nature, from the gloom of winter to the new life of spring. The theme of rebirth can also be applied to Mrs. Mallard herself. When realizing her husband is dead and she no longer has to bend toward his will, she feels that she can now live life for herself. She has an indescribable feeling of being free. Chopin also mentions to how Mrs. Mallard’s window faces westward. The west is where the sun goes down, and throughout history has referred to as the land of the dead. This actualization can also be part of the rebirth theme, while the direction of windows represents death, the things going on outside the window a blue sky, and the fresh rainfall represent new life. The author uses the setting of the story to further illustrate her view by show...

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The story of an hour. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 07:15, September 01, 2014, from