Kate Chopin lived and created in a time when society could not or was not willing to handle her. When she died, in 1903, it felt like the world was putting her on hold. She was a woman ahead of her times who rang the "awakening" for a cohort of women. Her tolling bells would only be heard more than half a century later when a man, a Norwegian professor from the department of ritish and American studies from the University of Oslo, Per Seyersted, brought Kate Chopin's life achievements back to life.
Since then, as Per Seyersted wrote in his Preface to the book Kate Chopin's Private Letters: "We have come a long way"(X). ut, as all her readers will understand now, not only has Kate Chopin "finally received the recognition she deserves"(X), but she gave the world a special insight into the life of women and bourgeois families…… [Read More]
Kate Chopin's short stories "The Storm" and "The Story of an Hour" both offer messages of hope for women trapped in patriarchal relationships. The two short stories are framed with a feminist social commentary, while offering completely different perspectives on the ways women can achieve self-determination within the dominant culture. The two main characters of "The Storm" and "The Story of an Hour" are married; but their relationships are noticeably different. Calixta in "The Storm" is young, a new mother, and described in terms of her supple good looks and "vivacity," (Sec. 2). Mrs. Mallard, on the other hand, is a more mature woman than Calixta in terms of her years. Their age differences are paralleled by different social norms that are explored and explained in the two short stories. Moreover, Calixta's youth makes it apt that her character discovers self-liberation through sex; whereas Mrs. Mallard's liberation is achieved via…… [Read More]
Kate Chopin (1850-1904) was born Katherine O'Flaherty in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1850. She didn't begin her writing career until after 1882, the year in which her husband, Oscar Chopin died (Toth). She spent several years publishing short stories, based on the Creole and Cajun cultures of Louisiana, where she and Oscar had lived. Her first novel, At Fault, was published in 1890. It was her second novel The Awakening that caused the backlash of the press because of Chopin's depiction of a woman with a developing sense of independence, and sexual discovery (Toth). This novel has since become her masterpiece and legacy, and what she is remembered for. She died in 1904, long before her genius was truly recognized or appreciated.
Kate Chopin's writing style is descriptive, and yet simplistic. Her tendency to focus on women has become a thread through which all her stories are woven. Her feminist…… [Read More]
And the irony here is that when the two males arrive, Bobinot "prepares for the worst..." (115); he tries hard to remove the mud from legs and feet of he and his son. Mom won't like the men folk bringing mud into her clean house. She is an "overscrupulous housewife" when it comes to housekeeping, but obviously not too scrupulous when it comes to her morality.
Perhaps some guilt creeps into the story as Calixta interrupt her supper preparations by "kissing [Bibi] effusively" and seems to express "nothing but satisfaction" at the return of her husband and son, albeit Bobinot had been rehearsing his excuse for their tardiness in expectation of a harangue. Normally, he would have caught some hell for being late, and being messy. And the laughter all three family members let loose with was "so loud anyone might have heard them as far away as Laballiere's" (116);…… [Read More]
"Free! Body and soul free!' she kept whispering." Mrs. Louise Mallard dealt with the death of her husband in an unusual and ambiguous way. At first she wept, "at once, with sudden, wild abandonment." The narrator of Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour" notes that Mrs. Mallard did not react with paralyzed shock as many others would have but rather, with a "storm of grief." Mallard's initial response shows that she is a passionate woman, unafraid of intense emotions or expressing them in public. Moreover, the way Mallard deals with the death of her husband exhibits her inner strength and self-sufficiency. It is precisely her inner strength and self-sufficiency that cause her to feel excited at the prospect of living her life alone. As she notices the "new spring life" outside her bedroom window, Mrs. Mallard anticipates her new life as a single woman, beholden to no…… [Read More]
Chopin's life. Kate Chopin wrote for women at a time when women were to be "seen and not heard." She wrote of their lives, their fears, and the secrets that they kept from everyone but themselves. He stories still touch women today, because they bring out the underlying emotions so common in everyday events.
After being sent off to boarding school at the tender age of five, partly for her defiant and inquisitive attitude, Kate Chopin grew up in a house of strong women who were dominated by her equally strong and opinionated father, Thomas O'Flaherty. However, her father was killed in a train crash, just as Mrs. Mallard's husband's supposed fate in "The Story of an Hour." When her father died, she returned home. One biographer notes, "in real life, the crash that killed Thomas O'Flaherty liberated his daughter to come home, to be raised among the powerful women…… [Read More]
Kate Chopin "The Story Hour" 1) what impact story? 2) What? 3) What questions? 4)…. ID
Summarize short stories by Kate Chopin
"The Story of an Hour"
In this story, the protagonist Mrs. Mallard is mistakenly informed that her husband died in a railway accident. Her first impulse, after being stunned by the shock of the event, is to celebrate that she is free. Like so many women of her class during the Victorian Era, Mrs. Mallard has led a sheltered life. This has been particularly true for her since she has a weak heart. Now that her husband is dead, she realizes she is free to do as she pleases. However, when it is discovered that her husband was actually not in the train accident because he missed the train he was supposed to take, his wife is so shocked by the sight of him coming home she falls…… [Read More]
Chopin shows that instead of mourning her husband, Mrs. Mallard is somewhat relieved that he is gone. In the first scenes feels a sense of calm descend on her at the news. She appears almost frightened at these sneaking feelings of happiness. Though she at first attempts to repress her feelings of happiness, eventually she gives way to them. This is evidenced when the new widow begins to whisper "Free, free, free..." The fear vanishes altogether and she becomes preternaturally calm and even relaxed as she comes to terms with the fact that she is secretly glad to be free of her husband.
It appears from her thoughts and actions that Mrs. Mallard no longer loves her husband the same way she once did, and that she may not even love him at all, anymore. She even begins to radiate energy and life in a way she had…… [Read More]
Kate Chopin is often referred to as a writer who was well ahead of her time both in her observations of human nature, and in her daringness to write about intimate issues when such a topic was not commonly acknowledged or discussed. Her short story, "The Storm," helped reveal the universality of human passion, extending it to the female as well as the male, and it also helped disclose a truer, more human nature to the emotions and sensuality of the female.
When Kate Chopin was born in St. Louis in 1850, the scope of a woman's life was primarily limited to domestic duties. By the time Chopin began to write, in the 1880s, she was a young widow and mother of six children. Widely read, and also influenced by very strong and freethinking females in her own family, Chopin began her writing career at a time when…… [Read More]
In many ways, Kate Chopin's short story, "The Story of an Hour," is a case study in the use of the ironic. The exact opposite of what the reader expects to happen takes place in a number of different occasions in this tale -- from Mrs. Mallard's reaction to the news of her husband's death, to her reaction to the sight of him alive. The irony imbued within this story, as well as the poetic nature of Chopin's prose -- highlighted by her inimitable diction and the perspective she offers regarding the repression of women -- make this story perfect to interpret using the reader response approach to analysis. This particular lens denotes that Chopin's employment of irony actually reinforces the notion that for women, liberation is the absence of the domineering presence of a man and, conversely, this presence is akin to represion.
One of the facets that…… [Read More]
Mallard locks herself in her room and looks to nature for consolation, a situation that seems to dissolve the tension that she was subjected to, and Mrs. Sommers goes on a shopping and fun spree that ends up in the movie theatre. Finally at the end of the three stories there seems to be a successfully resolved situation for the tension that was, Calixta seems at peace with the family and she even does not quarrel the husband as was the norm (and the husband expected it), Mrs. Mallard though dies, she dies a happy woman of 'the joy that kills' and Mrs. Sommers seems satisfied with her day out where she had maximum fun and bought all she wanted (Jennifer Heeden, 2011).
Esther Lombardi, (2011). 'The Storm' - Short Story. Kate Chopin's Famous Short Story - Classic
Text. etrieved December 30, 2011 from http://classiclit.about.com/od/stormkatechopin/a/aa_thestorm_kchopin_2.htm
Jennifer Heeden, (2011). A…… [Read More]
hile Chopin generally avoided women's right's movements and organizations because she thought their aims were "unrealistic," (Seyersted), she did adopt the theory that women deserved the same rights as men because they had the "same drives as man" (Seyersted). Chopin's husband died of swamp fever, leaving Chopin to run the household. She started living with her mother, who died shortly after she moved in. Chopin's doctor, Frederick Kolbenheyer, was a "man of broad learning and radical ideas" (Inge), urged Chopin to write. She lacked confidence and it "took several years of encouragement from her friends as well as a trip to Natchinoches Parish before Chopin began writing seriously" (Collar). Her first novel was published when she was 39 years old.
Inge, Tonette. "Kate Chopin." Literary Biography. Pennsylvania State University Article. 1989.
GALE Resource Database. Information Retreived April 3, 2009. http://galenet.galegroup.com
Seyersted, Per. "An excerpt from Kate Chopin: A…… [Read More]
Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin
Deconstructing the meaning of "death" in Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour"
As a method of literary analysis, deconstruction seeks to generate layers of meanings that are both latent and manifest within a literary work. More often, it is through deconstruction that leads the reader to identify a specific theme found in a work. Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour" provides symbolic meanings that provide the readers with awareness about the state of gender equality that was yet to be fully recognized in Chopin's society (during the 19th century).
In this paper, the researcher seeks to create a literary analysis using the method of deconstruction, wherein a particularly striking word found within the literary text was taken, and themes and discussion of the word's relation to the story and its characters are generated. One primary emergent theme that prevails throughout the…… [Read More]
personality of Mrs. Mallard in Kate Chopin's The Story of an Hour. The author of this paper discusses the reasons that Mrs. Reacted the way she did and then died. In addition the era is discussed in regards to the way women reacted to bad marriages.
FREE ANY WAY SHE COULD BE
Throughout history, authors have used their works to convey current social mores and ideas. Every now and again, however, an author will stand out for the attempt to break out of the politically correct mold and will write something that may not be socially acceptable in its time but speaks the truth nonetheless. When Kate Chopin penned The Story of an Hour, she did exactly that. The story defies the norm of the era when it came to the way women were expected to feel and behave. It allows for the possibility that all women in that time…… [Read More]
This occurrence adds symbolism to the ending by providing us with reassurance of the story's theme that despite any precaution taken, death is the one thing that cannot be planned for.
Symbolism is highly present in Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path." It is this strong symbolism that defines what "A Worn Path" grew to represent. This story may be interpreted in many ways, but in the end, it all comes down to the theme of self-sacrifice despite the hardships presented. Phoenix sacrifices her sanity, her life, and demonstrates utter determination when she is on her path to get medicine for her dying grandson. The items that demonstrate this symbolism go far beyond individual interpretation.
The character's name itself provides great symbolism to relate to the theme of the story. "Phoenix" represents an Egyptian bird that symbolizes resurrection. Throughout the entire story, Phoenix is her grandson's savior. She needs to…… [Read More]
Chopin's The Storm
Not Just a Passing Storm: The Central Role of Setting in Kate Chopin's Short Story "The Storm"
Kate Chopin's short story "The Storm" encompasses a brief but intense time period that begins with the gathering of "somber clouds that were rolling with sinister intention" to the passing of the storm, when the "sun was turning the glistening green world into a palace of gems." Therefore, setting serves several functions in Chopin's story: the storm actually drives the plot, as it mimics the protagonist's transformation and also corresponds to her tryst. For instance, just as the storm arrives and passes quickly, so too does Calixta's brief affair with her old flame Alcee. Furthermore, the setting is not simply a backdrop or an incidental, arbitrary literary element in the story. Rather, the storm comes alive through the author's choice of diction and her style of writing: Chopin personifies the…… [Read More]
Herein is composed a character who captures the internal conflict that would identify America on its path to Civil ar.
In Twain's work, Huck emerges as a figure whose behavior and ideology are stimulated by a discomfort with the circumstances constraining him. Though painted as a portrait of one young man, the adventures which give the novel its title are actually a series of events wherein Huck brazenly flouts the standards which had given the pre-Civil ar delta its cultural outlook. His flight to freedom is guided by the juxtaposed but equally inapt incarcerations which he endured both at the pious hands of the idow Douglas and the abusive hands of his drunken father. Certainly, his staged death and his river-raft escape here would be explicit forms of active protest to the church-going morality of the former and the violent authority of the latter. In both, we see the religious…… [Read More]
The wildly prolific Joyce Carol Oates also delves into the role of modern women in her fiction writing, although a quick review of her works spanning the course of the 20th and 21st centuries, suggests it is more difficult to draw as direct a connection between Oates' major works and biography than it is with Chopin. However, like Mrs. Mallard of "The Story of an Hour" briefly delights in a fantasy coming to life, only to find her hopes dashed when the promise of freedom is taken away, the heroine Connie of "here are you going, where have you been," finds her fantasy of being seductive and more beautiful than her conventional mother and sister to be far different than she realizes in reality. In Oates, much more explicitly than in Chopin, the trap of femininity 'used' as a vehicle of liberation for the teenage Connie becomes a lie, as…… [Read More]
Here, we see that Edna realizes what is happening to her and why. She sees Robert as a catalyst for her awakening but not the answer to her yearnings for a more fulfilled life. It is also important to note how Edna refers to her life being a stupid dream. This remark illustrates the intensity of what she is going through - in essence; it pinpoints the reason behind her awakening.
Another character responsible Edna's awakening is the doctor. As we have mentioned, Edna is living in a day and age where women are supposed to be happy fulfilling the role of wife and mother. hen Edna seeks out the doctor for advice, his words are difficult to hear. hile he may empathize with her, he is also being pragmatic when he tells says, "Youth is given up to illusions" (147). His words reinforce what she already knows and Edna…… [Read More]
alking with his owner, he considers the absurdity of the human mind, sinking in the past "thinking of what you can never bring back" (8) or thinking about tomorrow. It is only a few seconds before our speaker is distracted by his "work / to unsnare time's warp" (10-1) and pull his owner from it back into the here and now. e do not need to wonder if the dog believes humanity is wasting time thinking about the past. He is convinced the best way to live it is to live in completely in the moment. The superior creature, man, does not have a handle on this notion quite yet. Sometimes we need other creatures of the universe to show us the way because we become too involved in all it means to be human. Too involved, it seems, that we miss much of the joy that lies before us.…… [Read More]
In today's culture it is sometimes easy to forget the progress women have made in regards to determining their own future, personal freedom, and changing the definition of their societal roles. Women can run for president, take charge of multi-billion dollar corporations, decide to pursue (or not) motherhood; modern culture embraces feminism and a woman's right to choose. The freedom women have today is inherited through a long series of struggles, women slowly breaking down barriers. Kate Chopin is an early advocate for altering the role of women in society. The Awakening is an honest portrayal of an 18th century women dissatisfied with her life, and more urgently trapped by the constraints of society. Chopin demonstrates to her contemporaries that women are not defined by the societal expectations, some women can and do want more than motherhood and wifehood. This paper will argue that Chopin believed that women were…… [Read More]
A. Elisa Allen is the protagonist of John Steinbeck’s short story “The Chrysanthemums.” Louise Mallard is the protagonist of Kate Chopin’s “The Story of An Hour.”
B. Both Elisa and Louise are products of their social and historical contexts, particularly when it comes to gender norms.
C. Elisa and Louise are passive protagonists, because patriarchy has stripped them of political agency.
Thesis: By creating passive protagonists in their respective short stories, Steinbeck and Chopin make powerful social commentary about the role of women in their private and public lives.
A. Topic Sentence: Both Elisa and Louise feel stuck in their marriage, but perceive liberation as impossible within the confines of their culture.
1. First concrete detail: Nature symbolizes wasted potential.
a. Elisa is capable of so much more than gardening: “The chrysanthemum stems seemed too small and easy for her energy,” (Steinbeck)
b. Louise receives her…… [Read More]
Katie Chopin the Storm
Comparing Symbols of the Storm to an Illicit Love Affair: Kate Chopin's "The Storm"
Kate Chopin's short story the storm is a fiery tale of two lovers, whose passion comes just as fast as the onset of the violent storm that serves as the backdrop of the story. Throughout the short story, there are symbols presented by Chopin that correlate both with the onset of the raging storm and the spontaneous tryst between the two lovers, Calixta and Alcee. The rapid onset of the affair, the growing strength, the spontaneous nature, and the negative and adulterous undertones are all used by Chopin to describe both the storm and the illicit affair between the two.
The storm came on almost as a complete surprise, as did their love and their act of making love. The entire duration of the storm is fast, yet powerful, which compares to…… [Read More]
The pink ribbon fluttering before him is significant because it represents Faith, his wife and faith, his religion - both of which are "gone" (Hawthorne) at this point. He is changed by what he believes is truth and he can trust no one anymore. It is difficult enough that the man looses his faith but he also comes to look upon his faith with disdain. His appreciation for all that once held dear is ruined by what he might or might not have seen in the forest. The Sabbath, once a holy day, is infected to the point that Goodman cannot listen to hymns because an "anthem of sin rushed loudly upon his ear and drowned all the blessed strain" (Hawthorne). Everything and everyone is dirty and, unfortunately, there is no relief for Goodman.
It is important to note that while Goodman never knows the absolute truth about what his…… [Read More]
Plight of omen in Chopin's orks
Kate Chopin was master at creating female characters that lived out of their own time. Chopin was not what we may truly call a feminist by modern standards but she did attempt to give the women in her fiction the freedom they did not have in her time. Two stories that emphasize the female character and her lack are "The Story of an Hour" and "The Awakening." Louise and Edna are victims of society and, in the end, they never seek the freedom they deserve. These women are portraits of a time gone by that we would do well to remember lest we repeat similar mistakes.
Chopin knew what women went through and she used fiction to bring attention to it. She was writing to an audience that was not quite ready to read what she wanted to say but her message was important…… [Read More]
Country of the Pointed Firs," by Sarah Orne Jewett, "The Awakening," by Kate Chopin and "My Antonia," by Willa Cather. Specifically, it will show the development of the complexity, or the straightforwardness, of the point-of-view. Point-of-view is often as difficult to pinpoint as the characters of great novels. Sometimes, the point-of-view in a novel can shift and change, but the bottom line is -- point-of-view is a compelling way to keep the reader interested in the story, while telling more about the characters. Thus, point-of-view is a central part of the telling of a tale, and that is one of the most important techniques a writer can use to get their point across to the reader.
Point-of-View in Three Works
Point-of-view is one of the devices used to make or break a novel, and these three pieces all use point-of-view effectively and quite differently to set the stage, tell the…… [Read More]
ell-placed imagery is like a snapshot into what the author is saying. They are essentially painting a picture and the images they give us are important to the overall message. Kate Chopin wants us to experience the thrill that Louise does when she realizes that her husband's death is not the end of the world but the beginning of a new one. Her life, once shadowed but that man, is now open, free, and refreshing. Her future looks exciting and she is ready to receive it. Nothing makes this more clear to us than the images from nature. Similarly, Yusef Komunyakaa takes us to the Vietnam ar Memorial and demonstrates the power of the imagination. The images in this poem are significant because they represent different things. The wall represents the weight of the memory of war. The names engraved on the wall represent the lives that live on within…… [Read More]
One can learn a number of things about life from reading Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour." The same sentiment applies to reading "A White Heron," which was written by Sarah Orne Jewett. Both of these tales seemingly emphasize the frailty of life, and imply that the decisions one makes throughout life can be binding -- or become easily undone.
The protagonist of a "A White Heron," Sylvia, faces quite a quandary in Jewett's tale. She has all but agreed to help a hunter find a white heron so that the young man can slay it. In fact, the young man has promised to give anyone who can find this bird a sizeable sum of money. Enticed by such a reward, Sylvia is bent on finding the bird… until she does. After climbing high in a tree to find the curious creature, the young girl is struck by…… [Read More]
Kate Chopin, "The Story of an Hour"
Kate Chopin's 1894 short story "The Story of An Hour" depicts a major event in a minimalist fashion -- most of the action of the tale takes place in the mind of the protagonist, Louise Mallard. The story fits well with modern summaries of Chopin's achievement in longer fiction: her well-known novel The Awakening, published five years after "The Story of An Hour," would revisit many of the same themes depicted in the earlier story, but will dramatize them in large broad colorful strokes, endeavoring accurately to depict the vanishing world of Creole New Orleans at the same time as they depict, in Martha Cutter's words, "stronger, less conventional female characters" (Cutter 34). In his survey of the nineteenth century American novel, Gregg Crane notes that in The Awakening "Chopin convincingly dramatizes how an unnameable and relatively faint discontent grows into a very…… [Read More]
Elisa Allen is the protagonist of John Steinbeck's short story “The Chrysanthemums,” and Louise Mallard is the protagonist of Kate Chopin's “The Story of An Hour.” Both Elisa and Louise are products of their social and historical contexts, particularly when it comes to gender norms. Elisa and Louise are passive protagonists, because patriarchy has stripped them of political agency. By creating passive protagonists in their respective short stories, Steinbeck and Chopin make powerful social commentary about the role of women in their private and public lives.
Both Elisa and Louise feel stuck in their marriage, but perceive liberation as impossible within the confines of their culture. In both short stories, nature symbolizes wasted potential. For example, Elisa is capable of so much more than gardening: "The chrysanthemum stems seemed too small and easy for her energy," (Steinbeck). Similarly, Louise realizes that she has wasted her life when she sees nature…… [Read More]
Chopin's "Story of an Hour" and the Use of Symbol
Kate Chopin uses various symbols, such as the open window, the home, the heart, the news of death, and stairs, to convey themes of alienation and otherness, both of which underscore the ultimate irony in "The Story of an Hour" about a woman who happily "becomes" a widow only to find, tragically, in her moment of bliss that her husband is actually still very much alive. Chopin's main character Mrs. Mallard is unhappily married to Mr. Mallard and it is this unhappiness that sets her apart from other women: "She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance" (Chopin) -- that is to say, Mrs. Mallard is set apart from other women by her lack of love for her husband. She eyes the open window and wants to…… [Read More]
Irony in the Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin
Kate Chopin uses the element of irony in her short story The Story of an Hour to emphasis the repressive role that marriage plays in a woman's life. The protagonist, Louise Mallard, is caught between the social expectations and moral obligations to love the man she married, and her desire for independence. This dramatic tension is manifested when Louise hears of the unexpected death of her husband, Brently, from her sister Josephine and her husband's friend Richards. Though the reader would expect Louise to be heartbroken at the news of her husband's demise, she is in fact elated by what she imagines to be the ramifications of the event.
An indication of the author's view on marriage can be ascertained through the description of the view from the open window in Louise's bedroom. Even though she has just been…… [Read More]
Her various lovers' beauty seems consistent with her love of beautiful material things and her admiration of herself as a beautiful object. For Emma, having an affair is another celebration of material goods -- her lover is an object that marks her as worthy, just like having the best clothing and furniture that money can buy (or can be borrowed). Her love is not for Leon or Rodolphe anymore than her love of her clothing is for the piece of cloth -- she seeks out men for what they can do for her, so she can engage in an enactment of her fantasy of herself as a star of a romance. Flaubert underlines this fact by having Emma fall in love during various representations of provincial life that represent consumerism or superficiality, such as a local agricultural fair or watching an opera.
Edna, in contrast, seeks to find love below…… [Read More]
As such, she fails to address the central problem of feminism in the Pontellier perspective, namely the impossibility of female individuality and independence in a patriarchal world. It is only in isolation that Edna can find any happiness, and she must make this isolation more and more complete in order to maintain her happiness, as the patriarchy has a means of encroaching on all populated areas, and Wollstonecraft's feminism does not offer an alternative to this need to escape humanity.
A final snort of disgust might be distinctly heard from Edna Pontellier upon her reading of this line of Wollstonecraft's, afterwards she might likely have flung the text aside (or into the fireplace, depending on the season): "Pleasure is the business of woman's life, according to the present modification of society" (ch. 4, par. 10). What Wollstonecraft means is that women are thought to be so fragile, so emotional, and…… [Read More]
Characters in American Fiction
Two terms used that are to describe characters are static and dynamic, which mean rarely or never changing, and constantly changing, respectively. This paper provides an analysis of the characters of Sammy in the short story "A&P" by John Updike and Louise Mallard in the short story "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin to determine whether these characters are static or dynamic. Drawing on supportive quotations from the two short stories, a discussion concerning who the person is at the start and end of the story is followed by an analysis of whether constant changes were a good thing for the dynamic character. Finally, a summary of the research and important findings concerning these issues are provided in the conclusion.
Review and Analysis
"Sammy" in John Updike's "A&P"
This short story is set in the early 1960s in a small town somewhere north of…… [Read More]
evidence passages story stories discuss. Thinking Setting: Sometimes setting a backdrop, plays a greater role a story. Choose story setting plays important role, make a claim role thesis, explain conclusion.
I am writing with regard to Kate Chopin's short story "The Story of an Hour." I chose to write concerning this topic because of its complexity. The fact that the story is set in the nineteenth century in a society that is inclined to discriminate women makes it possible for readers to understand why the protagonist puts across particular attitudes.
I am exploring the question regarding how people in the late nineteenth century were influenced to adopt discriminatory attitudes toward women. Society generally promoted patriarchal thinking during the period and it was thus difficult and almost impossible for many women to feel free.
This essay enabled me to understand how Chopin wanted to raise public awareness through her short story.…… [Read More]
Mrs. Mallard's husband could have thought he was doing her a great kind kindness by "bending" her will to his. This quotation demonstrates the fact that even if Brent Mallard was on his best behavior, he still had a negative, oppressive effect upon his wife. With little legal recourse, Chopin is alluding to the fact that for many women, death -- of either the husband or the repressed woman -- is the only way out of such a situation.
Unfortunately for Mrs. Mallard, her weak heart was unable to sustain the shock of seeing her husband alive, after she had finally acclimated herself to the notion that she had finally been freed from his oppressive presence and will. She was strong enough to live with her husband's death, yet was not strong enough to live through the surprise of his continued life at the resumption of her former, oppressed state.…… [Read More]
Kate Chopin and Gail Godwin
When comparing The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin and A Sorrowful Woman by Gail Godwin, the main similarity is the theme of marriages. These types of relationships should be based on important issues such as trust, love, and commitment between two people (Coontz, 2005). However, there are many people who do not base their marriages on such things, and these stories address that issue (Coontz, 2005). Women, like men, are not always happy in their relationships (Kiecolt-Glaser & Newton, 2001). Both Chopin's and Godwin's stories focus on the women and how they struggle with the marriages they have (Meyer, 2003).
Since nearly half of the marriages in the United States end in divorce, the idea that there are unhappy marriages does not come as a big surprise (Kiecolt-Glaser & Newton, 2001). However, what people sometimes do about their unhappy marriages and what it…… [Read More]
Gender oles and Marriage
The Domestic Prison: James Thurber's "Secret Life of Walter Mitty" and Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour"
James Thurber's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" (1939) and "The Story of an Hour" (1894) by Kate Chopin depict marriage as a prison for both men and women from which the main characters fantasize about escaping. Louise Mallard is similar to the unnamed narrator in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" is that they are literally imprisoned in a domestic world from which there is no escape but death or insanity. As in all of this early feminist fiction, the women characters are defined as 'sick', either physically or mentally, for even imaging a situation on which they might be free, for they are allowed no lives of their own. Louise Mallard was overjoyed when she heard that her husband was killed in an accident,…… [Read More]
Gender Identity/Male-Female Roles and Power Relationship. In a discussionof characters from "The Awakening" by Despite the fact that there are numerous differences existent in the novels The Awakening by Kate Chopin, Light in August by illiam Faulkner, and Their Eyes ere atching God by Zora Neale Hurston, there are some poignant similarities between these three works of literature. They were all written in the years directly preceding or occurring subsequent to the arrival of the 20th century, and they all deal with issues related to race (albeit extremely indirectly in Chopin's book). Moreover, all of these pieces chronicle definite challenges presented to women due to notions of gender and society that were pressing during this historical epoch. Some of the more salient issues affecting women during this time period, such as marriage and motherhood and the degree of autonomy (or dearth thereof) women had in living their lives is explored…… [Read More]
From the narrator of the story, the readers find out that Alcee's family was unconventional in that their living arrangements are peculiar, for his wife and children chose to live in another place instead of with him. In the same manner that Calixta becomes the unconventional mother and wife to Bibo and Bobinot, respectively, Alcee has also achieved freedom by agreeing to the peculiar arrangements of his family right after he has resumed relations with Calixta.
On a nutshell, Chopin extends the message that it is only through Calixta and Alcee's unconventional relationship that their respective families have achieved happiness not only for themselves, but for the characters as well. As a minor character of the story, the author has effectively reflected in Alcee's character every ideology and belief that society holds as deviant or unconventional: his agreement to live separately with his family and his commitment to re-establishing romantic…… [Read More]
Kate is said to have escaped the romance with Albert Sampite by fleeing Cloutierville to go and live with her mother in St. Louis. Marianne also refuses to be dependent of any man after "having been someone else's other for so long" and, as such, "she now rejects any realm of patriarchal dominance and chooses, instead, herself." (Martin 73-74). It is possible that Chopin would have wanted the same thing. However, we know she sold her home in Cloutierville only many years after she moved with her mother, so chances are she might have gone back to meet with Sampite throughout the years. But there really is no conclusive evidence to support such a fact.
hat we can observe is that Kate Chopin's characters often seem to resemble her own desire for personal freedom anticipated in a journey that starts right from the moment when women are able to set…… [Read More]
Fictional Elements in Selected orks from Kate Chopin and Anton Chekhov
In both of Kate Chopin's works, "The Story of an Hour" and "Desiree's Baby," the most important element of fiction which the author invokes is plot and conflict, for the simple fact that this element is the most effective way of imparting the powerful irony which grips both of these tales. "The Story of an Hour" in particular is too brief to provide a significant level of characterization or setting, yet it's brevity actually helps to accentuate the irony of a work in which the principle protagonist, Mrs. Mallard, believes that she has escaped the overbearing will and presence of her husband and reaffirms her devotion to live -- only to die suddenly at the unexpected presence of the latter at the story's conclusion. Chopin utilizes such a plot to emphasize the situation irony with which her tale is…… [Read More]
symbolism, style, tone, setting and perspective in this short story. demonstrated by comparing works of Kate hopin, the "Story of an Hour" and "A Respectable Woman" and "Regret" Using these stories the writer examines how emotions and events are depicted with the positive and negative impacts of marriage and how this may be interpreted by a reader. The bibliography cites Four Sources
Kate hopin: woman out of her time.
Literature is an art form that can be seen as both representative and critical of society. When we consider historical texts they can tell us a great deal about the culture and expectations that may have been prevalent in that society.
In the short story Regret by Kate hopin we see the development of an attitude and the way that it was depicted with different layers to how it affects a person. However, it is the human condition and the deep…… [Read More]
" As the reader soon discovers, this heart trouble wasn't physical; rather, her trouble was related to personal unhappiness in her marriage. The heart disease as not being a physical condition is once again reinforced at the very end of the story when the author writes, "When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease -- of joy that kills." However, the reader is well aware by this time that she is experiencing despair knowing that her husband is still alive rather than joy upon his return to her life.
Likewise, "The Storm" involves a character vs. society conflict. This time the conflict deals with the loss of passion in marriage and is perhaps indicative of Chopin's own extramarital affair. For the reminder of a lost passion, Calixta is visited by an old lover while her lover is away as illustrated by the lines, "The contact of…… [Read More]
Society looks at women's bodies to define their happiness or unhappiness, but Chopin suggests that women must look deeper into their psyche to find the cause of their personal difficulties.
omen become scapegoats for what is wrong with society. omen are eternally 'misread' by those who claim to love them because they are only seen in terms of their physical or married life. Mrs. Mallard dies of horror when she sees that her husband is alive but his apparent resurrection from the dead is assumed to have stopped her heart with "the joy that kills" by the doctors who examine her body. They cannot conceive of the idea that a lack of freedom, rather than a lack of a man might make a woman miserable. Although Armand is himself of mixed race, as is revealed at the end of the story, it is Desiree who must suffer and is blamed…… [Read More]
Ultimately Judith Shakespeare, (like Hedda Gabler) according to Virginia oolf, would have very likely taken her own life (1382). Although life today is still far from perfect for many women in many areas of the world, and while some women (in various poorer parts of Africa, Latin America, and Asia, for example) face many of the same attitudes and obstacles Judith Shakespeare would have faced, women in the United States, Europe, and many other areas today are infinitely freer than Virginia oolf's Judith Shakespeare would have been to pursue artistic (or other careers); support themselves while doing so; and to avoid unwanted pregnancies and childbirths.
Henrik Ibsen, Kate Chopin, and Virginia oolf, all writing in either the late 19th or early 20th centuries, all depict, within the works I have discussed, various strictures and limitations on the lives and aspirations of women during those times. For today's women, there are…… [Read More]
Conflict Between Exterior and Interior Life
Kate Chopin's "The story of an Hour" offers a story behind a story. First it can be noted that this talks about Mr. And Mrs. Mallard. Mrs. Mallard received a news that her husband has just died. This prompted for a roller coaster of emotions to build inside her heart and mind.
First, she felt sadness. She was saddened by the fact that she is now alone and that her husband will no longer be with her. But the feeling of sadness did not stay for long in Mrs. Mallard's heart because she suddenly realized that she is now free. The death of her husband would mean that nobody will hurt her anymore. Because her husband is dead, nobody will discriminate her anymore. Nobody will make her feel that she is just a low or second class citizen. Nobody will prevent her from doing…… [Read More]
Perkins gives us the reason one must never go back: sanity. These characters have issues in their lives but they certainly cannot sit still and wait for things to happen around them. The power of femininity did not advance because women remained timid; it gained momentum because women realized they were separate individuals capable of living full lives without the domineering presence of men. At the same time, they understood the importance of relationships and what they bring to life. They know both can exist without one overpowering the other. hile this does not sound like much of a revelation in today's world, it was a remarkable revelation around one hundred years ago when women were expected to be happy being mothers and wives.
Allen, Brooke. "The accomplishment of Edith harton." New Criterion, Sept 2001. Gale
Resource Database. Site Accessed April 13, 2011.
Chopin, Kate. "Regreat." American Literature…… [Read More]
The choice cannot be repudiated or duplicated, but one makes the choice without foreknowledge, almost as if blindly. After making the selection, the traveler in Frost's poem says, "Yet knowing how way leads on to way/I doubted if I should ever come back" (14-15). And at the end, as one continues to encounter different forks along the way, the endless paths have slim chance of ever giving the traveler a second choice. One can see this as similar to Mrs. Mallard's change. As she looks out into the future, she sees endless possibilities for choice and nothing feels like she would ever return to the determinate state of marriage.
The final two lines of "The Road Not Taken" say, "I took the one less traveled by / and that has made all the difference" (19-20). Unlike in Chopin, the traveler determines to take the path. In Chopin, the path forces…… [Read More]
He was attuned to her; he understood such things. He said he understood." Her helplessness and general withdrawal from the family are emphasized when she realizes that she cannot find a role that suits her: "she tried these personalities on like costumes, then discarded them." Again, as in the case of hopin's story, the conflict is internal as the character is revolting against itself. At first, the woman thinks she cannot handle the roles of mother and wife, but gradually she realizes that she cannot find any role she feels comfortable with. The emotional lack of attachment to her husband and son are soon extended; she no longer feels comfortable with anything in her life.
The main theme, that of dissatisfaction with one's life, is greatly emphasized by the mood of the story. The mood is created especially by the choice of setting; the plot takes place only inside the…… [Read More]
People in Love in Ibsen's a Doll's House and Chopin's "he Story of an Hour"
Berkove, Lawrence I. "Fatal Self-Assertion in Kate Chopin's "he Story of an Hour" American
Literary Realism 32.2 (2000). Print. Berkove makes a very interesting point. Mrs.
Mallard's self-assertion does end her life. He argues that Louise Mallard is not a feminist heroine but "an immature egoist and a victim of her own extreme self-assertion" (10). His theory is that Louise is not a woman to look up to as a feminist icon, but a monstrous figure.
his article is useful in that most criticisms of both the Ibsen play and the Chopin story are from a feminist perspective. His argument is the direct opposite. He believes that Mrs. Mallard is too weak to face the reality of her imagination. When there is a challenge to her newly-found sense of self, she collapses.
Dagenhart, Natalia. "Freedom…… [Read More]
Walter Mitty and the Story Of an Hour
An Analysis of Thurber's "Mitty" and Chopin's "Story"
James Thurber's comic "Secret Life of Walter Mitty" and Kate Chopin's "Story of an Hour" may at first glance seem to have little in common. One is the humorous tale of an aloof husband who spends more time in his imagination than with his wife in reality. The other is a short, level-toned narrative that describes a woman's exultation upon learning that her husband has died. Setting style and structure aside, the two stories actually begin with a common theme (even though they treat of it differently): that theme is the escape from one's spouse. This paper will compare and contrast the theme, structure, literary elements, style and definition of Thurber's "Walter Mitty" and Chopin's "Story" and show how the two authors take one idea in two completely different directions only to arrive at…… [Read More]
relationships of Edna Pontellier in Kate Chopin's book, the Awakening. The writer of this paper uses examples from the book to take the reader on a journey through Pontellier's relationships and how they impacted her life and actions.
Awakening ith Help
Often times when someone does something like commit suicide the world turns a cold and blind eye to what may have contributed to that person's downward spiral. Authors of literature can take the time to explore this dark side of the person's life, which is exactly what Kate Chopin did in her classic tale The Awakening. Chopin shocked the literary world when she penned the story of Edna Pontellier and her desire to be free of a loveless marriage and boring children. It was written in a time when women were often trapped in such marriages and they had been born and raised to accept such a fate and…… [Read More]
She is literally locked in the house and it becomes her "protector" of sorts. It is as real as a character because it is has a type of power over Louise. She can never leave it. After hearing the news of Brently, Louise runs up to her room and "would have no one follow her" (635). The room takes on a persona as it becomes the one thing with which Louise shares her secret of freedom. Here, she can relish in the thought of being free without worrying about the disapproval of others. Here, she can express the excitement she feels when she looks outside and considers freedom as something within her grasp. This is the only place that knows her true heart and it is the only place in which she has few minutes to taste the freedom she desires. The room envelops her and allows her to this…… [Read More]
Thus, Hemingway suggests that the link between secondhand knowledge and violence is that the violence becomes muted when passed on secondhand, making it nearly impossible for others to understand the violence, and so, therefore, rendering the violence useless.
Like Krebs, Mrs. Mallard's sister and husband's friend both have secondhand knowledge of violence in "The Story of an Hour," despite the fact that that knowledge is misinformation, for when they reveal that knowledge to Mrs. Mallard, the knowledge is real to them. Because both Josephine and Richards have only secondhand knowledge of Mr. Mallard's tragic and violent death, the violence of such a death is muted when passed onto Mrs. Mallard, allowing her to misconstrue the pain that her husband, whom she had "sometimes" loved into a joyous occasion. That she did, indeed, misconstrue his pain is emphasized by the fact that Mrs. Mallard "knew that she would weep again when…… [Read More]
She is not asking Adele for permission and Adele does not try to force her to do or not do anything. She does kindly ask her to think of her children but she does not attack her. Adele does not understand Edna when she tells her that she would give her money and her life for her children but not herself. Her belief system is too different from Edna's but the woman can still connect on a female level. ithout this bond, Edna would have never been able to reach out to other people in hopes of forming a connection.
Adele is necessary for us to see how Edna has evolved over the course of time. This is easily demonstrated in her relationship and her feelings toward Adele. Edna's development can be seen in stages throughout the story. One way in which her change manifests itself is how she begins…… [Read More]
Lover" and "The Awakening"
Both Kate Chopin's The Awakening and Marguerite Duras' The Lover address what happens when a woman searches for a way to leave her present life behind and seek a new one that may, or may not, be any better. In The Awakening, 28-year-old Edna Pontellier struggles for selfhood but does not have the strength to accept the ramifications of this possibility. In The Lover, the 15-year-old female narrator embraces self-awareness and uses her acquired strength to widen life's possibilities.
The Awakening takes place at the end of the 19th century, when the Western world was beginning to undergo major changes due to the Industrial evolution and increased urbanization. Although women were beginning to envision a less-restrained future, they were still, for the most part, bound by tradition to be subservient to their husbands. Middle- and upper-class women were expected to stay at home as idle, decorative…… [Read More]
Edna needed more than what family life could offer her but she was living in a time where women did not seek an independent life outside the home. Edna was a woman out of her time and society made sure of that.
Another aspect that leads to the breakup of Edna's marriage was the relationship she had with men other than her husband. Edna and Robert are not doubt in love but even Robert's love could not satisfy Edna. She knew this and Robert's love, romantic as it was, could never be enough. Edna needed Robert but not completely. However, Robert is significant because he brings Edna "out of a life-long stupid dream" (143). She valued their relationship but knew that it would not last. She tells him that he is a foolish man because he:
wastes his time dreaming of impossible things when you speak of Mr. Pontellier setting…… [Read More]
Jude the Obscure," by Thomas Hardy, "The Awakening," by Kate Chopin, and "The Odd Women" by George Gissing. Specifically, it will show the Victorian women's struggle for emancipation, even if it meant dying for it. Victorian women had to live under many societal constraints which kept them subservient and shackled to their relationships. When women struck out for independence and vitality, they were crushed by an unbending Victorian society whose mores did not encourage personal growth and transformation for women.
Each of these novels portray a different facet of Victorian women, however, ultimately the females in these three works all suffer from the constraints of Victorian society, and each one struggles for emancipation and equality in her own way. Each woman lives outside the "norm" of Victorian society and works to become self-actualized long before it was a recognized or accepted concept.
In "Jude the Obscure," Arabella typifies…… [Read More]