Marriage in The Story of an Hour

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Throughout the majority of her childhood and adolescence, Kate Chopin had been raised and educated by independent women. Her father had died when she was at very young age and she was instructed by the nuns of St. Louis Academy of the Sacred Heart. Growing up in a world where most authority figures were female greatly influenced Kate Chopin ¡ ¯s opinion of independent and strong willed women. The lack of male presence also prevented her from experiencing a major fundamental social concept of her time, the tradition of submission of women to men in all social arenas, especially in the world of marriage. Many of Chopin ¡ ¯s writings include a strong female protagonist whom is in search of the meaning of self and life. ¡ °The Story of An Hour ¡ ± reflects Kate Chopin ¡ ¯s ideas about contemporary societal boundaries. Through the use of the protagonist Louise Mallard Chopin expresses many of her personal views on marriage and societal bindings. Throughout ¡ °The Story of An Hour ¡ ± Kate Chopin describes how the establishment of marriage oppresses women and their wills to live.

Louise Mallard, the epitome of a women in her social class, was viewed and treated like fragile an object requiring special attention. Early on in the story Louise described with such qualities, a ¡ °great [deal of] care was taken to break to her as gently as possible the news of her husband ¡ ¯s death ¡ ± (573). The news of her husband ¡ ¯s death was told to her by her sister ¡ °in broken sentences, veiled hints that revealed in half knowing ¡ ± (573). Both lines give the impression that women in Louise Mallard ¡ ¯s position were treated as fragile objects that could not bear to be tainted by terrible news. Another example occurs when the Mallards ¡ ¯ close friend, Richards, rushes over to comfort Louise. Richards ¡ °had only taken the time to assure himself of its truth by a second telegram, and

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