Do authors use life's experiences to depict events in their own writing? Not all authors" lives are reflected in their writing but Kate Chopin's life influenced and paralleled events in her short story, "The Story of an Hour," featured in Michael Meyer's The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature. The story was written in the late 19th century when women were inferior to not only their husbands, but men in general. Mrs. Mallard, the main character, experiences realistic situations that Chopin either experienced one way or another in her own life, or was exposed to by society. Chopin gathers thoughts and ideas from her own life, during this time period when the relationship between men and women differs from today's culture, to express her beliefs and individuality through her writing. Both Chopin and Mrs. Mallard suffered the death of a close one from a train accident, lived and married in societies where women were to be submissive to men, and experienced an unexpected loss of freedom and passion in their personal lives.
Not only did Chopin and Mrs. Mallard both struggle through a death of a loved one, but the deathly situations were ironically the same. According to the article, "Kate Chopin: In Search of Freedom" from Classic Literature Weekly, Chopin lost the life of her father in 1855 to a train accident; he was "one of the first influences in her life" who "found her natural curiosity fascinating and encouraged her interests" (Classic Lit). Unlike Chopin, Mrs. Mallard did not lose her father. She lost her husband to a train accident; at least that is what she was made to believe. Mrs. Mallard's sister, Josephine, broke "to her as gently as possible the news of her husband's death" (Meyer 10). .
Mallard's loss of her husband is parallel to Chopin's painful loss of her father several years before writing the story. .
Chopin and Mrs. Mallard were both exposed to other harsh realities in their lives.