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Kate Chopin

            Women have not always been given the choices they are afforded in today's society. Women of the nineteenth century were not treated with the respect that most women of today obtain. Women in the past were known as homemakers. It was their job to take care of the children, do the cooking and cleaning, and they were not given a voice in any of the decisions. It was unheard of for women to have full time jobs outside of the home. The women of the twenty-first century, however, are more educated and have the opportunity to establish a career of their own. Although today, most women do not receive the equivalent treatment as men, they are allowed more privileges than have been granted to women in the centuries before. Kate Chopin wrote two short stories that provide examples of the way women act when they are freed of their homemaking responsibilities. For example, in the "Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin, Louise first cries when she hears of her husband's death. After meditating on some of the new opportunities she will be able to experience, she becomes joyful. Only then, she realizes her husband is at the door and is alive. With this realization all the joy that is on the inside dies and so does she. The effects of limited opportunities of being a homemaker are evident in two of Chopin's stories, "The Story of an Hour" and "The Storm". Chopin's main character in the "The Story of an Hour" is a woman, Louise, who is diagnosed with a heart disease. Louise learns of her husband's death from her sister, Josephine, and his friend, Richards. With this news, she begins to cry. Alone in her room, she begins envisioning the many opportunities she will now will have as a single woman. She repeatedly tells herself she is free. Josephine is unaware of how her sister feels. She goes to her sister to console her. Louise opens the door, and collapses in her sisters arms. As they make their way downstairs, they hear someone opening the door.

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