Passing Of Freedom In Kate Chopin's The Story Of An Hour

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Passing of Freedom Bound, unequal, and dependent upon their husband. This, was the normal way of life for wives of the 18th century. If suddenly, the notion of life as it has always been was altered, what would be the proper reaction? This is the predicament Mrs. Mallard- the subject of Kate Chopin’s’ short story found herself in. Beautifully, and controversially written, The Story of an Hour has rightfully held a place in the minds of its readers as a favorite for years. Author, Kate Chopin eloquently uses symbolism throughout the text of The Story of an Hour, to describe the reaction of a woman, - accustomed to being enslaved by her husband, who suddenly becomes devoured by a too short breath of freedom. In the opening paragraph, the story reveals that Mrs. Mallard has a heart condition. “Great care was taken to break to her the news of her husband’s death” (Chopin)- the presumption can be made that the shock of bad news could be detrimental to Mrs. Mallards health because of her heart condition. However, when considering that this story was written in the 18th century- when women were viewed as being weak and fragile, greater care was likely taken because she was female. Furthermore, even though the story tells of her husband’s friend Richard being the person who initially learned of her husbands’ death, “It was her sister Josephine who told her” (pp 236). Yet another symbolistic idea of a pre-feministic world. The basic idea was that women were so very

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