Kate Chopin was a writer that spent much of her career examining the identities, roles, and choices of women. Much of her writing centered around women's feelings concerning their societal roles. Chopin was a very independent woman by nature, which may account for her fascination with women's rights. She wrote many pieces looking at society's view of women's independence. She also had many experiences in her life that helped to cultivate her own independence and her interest in other women's feelings towards independence. In many of Kate's writings, she displays strong opinions on the different roles of women. .
In The Story of an Hour, Kate Chopin's main focus is Mrs. Mallard. In the story, she finds out that her husband has died. Yet, instead of just mourning, Mrs. Mallard is exhilarated. She puts on a front, pretending to be grieving, but the reader finds out Mrs. Mallard's excitement over her new freedom. In The Awakening, Chopin explores a woman's choice to become independent. The main character, Edna, is dissatisfied with her life and position as wife and mother. She ends up leaving her husband to pursue her own freedom and the love of another man. In the book, Edna's husband and other people involved think something is wrong with her. Even those close to her tell her that she will need very strong wings to break free from the restraints of what society expects. Also portrayed in the book is Adele, a friend of Edna's. Adele is what might be looked at as the "perfect woman," by then society's eyes. She is a wife and mother, one that takes pride in each of her jobs. It becomes clear that while Adele is happy in her roles, Edna could not be content as the same. .
Why might Kate Chopin have such strong opinions concerning women and independence? Part of it might be due to her life experiences and the personality that shaped from those experiences. Even from childhood, Kate rebelled from the norm.