Women's Roles In The Awakening, By Kate Chopin

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Kate Chopin, an American writer, known for her vivid portrayals of women’s lives during the late 1800s. Her fiction works were set in Louisiana, which contributed too much of her description of women’s roles. She is primarily known for her fiction work “The Awakening.” During Chopin’s time, Louisiana was in the midst of reconstruction and was having racial and economic issues. (Skaggs 4) Most of her stories are set in Louisiana, and depict a realistic picture of Louisiana society. Kate Chopin wrote two novels that were published and many short stories. Most of Chopin’s work challenged whether or not women should continue to follow the traditions of their time. Skaggs stated that critics described Chopin as a “feminist, a local colorist, a regionalist,…show more content…
At first, she is portrayed as a fragile, grieving widow, but we later learn that she is relieved. She becomes “free” now that her husband has passed. Ms. Mallard learns that she can finally regain control of her life and can embrace the freedom existing from Mr. Mallard’s death. She is depicted as joyous due to the passing of her husband. The joyous behavior and the use of the term “free”, shows a woman who felt captive in the role of wife. Although the way she was acting was not considered proper, and was not the behavior expected from the newly, grieving widow. She stated, “I will live for myself,” which leads us to believe that until then she lived for her husband (Chopin 2). The “Story of an Hour” depicts the role of a woman as a servant to their husband. As if, they only lived, breathed, and functioned because of their husbands and their role as a wife. The readers can infer that Louise’s death comes from the exhaustion and devastation of thinking that she had gained her freedom and no longer had to strive to be a perfect woman that has to abide by society’s standards. As the exhaustion of freedom finally sets in, Mrs. Mallard loses it all in an…show more content…
In “The Storm” and “The Story of an Hour,” characters are portrayed as women who are searching for freedom and self-realization. We see the women trying to pull away from societies marital traditions. The behavior of the women is understandable, because their role greatly changed during the civil war. Many men were off fighting the war; therefore, women had to take care of the men’s day-to-day duties. Women gained a new sense of being when they learned that they could do more than just take care of the home and children. In “Desiree’s Baby”, we learn how easily women are disposable when they are no longer desirable to their husband. I believe Kate Chopin was writing about her personal beliefs, and how she felt traditions should
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