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Problem of Equal Rights for Women in A Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

In “A Story of an Hour,” Kate Chopin presents us a world in women had many obligations and few choices. We can even say that women during this time were like slaves because they were completely controlled by men in their whole lives. First of all, they were controlled by their fathers, then by their brothers, and also by their relatives, until they got a husband. Their only purpose on life for women was to get a husband, then to have children, and serve their husband for the rest of their lives. That’s why the story is told through a third-person narrator to represent the voice of women during eighteen hundreds, Mrs. Mallard the main character of the story who suffers from a heart disease is told a sad message by her sister Josephine and her husband’s friend Richard. With the most attentive way Mrs. Mallard is told that her husband dies in a railroad accident. After she knew the unexpected news her first reaction was like anyone who had lost a loved would have. Chopin writes “She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept the significance. She wept once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister arms. When the storm of grief had spent itself, she went away to her room alone. She would have no one to follow her” (Chopin (212). She seemed to be so sad. Or maybe not? As the story is told, it appears as if Mrs. Mallard was not suffering after all, in the other hand she was thankful and even happier than she has ever been in her entire life. “She said it over and over under her breath; Free, free, free!” However, when Mr. Brently enters through the main door and Mrs. Mallard sees him, she dies of disillusion, because now knowing that her husband was alive she would have to be Brently’s wife (slave, servant) again. Chopin Shows how women suffered because men controlling their marriages during this period of time. For instance, she shows how Mr. Brently seems to control Mrs. Mallard. Also, how Mrs. Mallard shows progression from being sad to being happy and with hope through her reflection of the setting, and then the freedom that Mrs. Mallard portrays after the supposed death of her husband.

Throughout Mrs. Mallard description of the setting, she shows a drastic change from being sad to being happy and fulfill with hope. At First, Mrs. Mallard was crying, but soon thoughts of ambition for freedom came into her mind and changed her. When Mrs. Mallard was looking out the window, she “could see the open square before her house the tops of the trees that were quiver with the new spring life. The delicious breath of the rain was in the air” (2). Through this description, Mrs. Mallard starts recognizing a new chance she could have after knowing about her husband’s apparent death. When a person just lost a loved one, that person can not be utilizing words such as “delicious” to describe their surroundings, they supposed to be with extreme sadness. Therefore, now that Brently was apparently death, Mrs. Mallard felt free for once because now no one was there to tell her what to do, she found new a world that could be just for her to explore and love. Chopin’s portrayal Mrs. Mallard description of the setting show what her real feeling were, was just like if Mrs. Mallard took off a load of her chest, and now she could enjoy and live her life full of happiness.

When Mrs. Mallard was told of tragedy that happened to her husband, she felt that something was keeping her back in her marriage. Her facial expressions “bespoke repression,” (2). Once she found out of the unexpected news, she realizes that there “will no powerful will bending her” (2). And no one that believed that had the “right to impose private will upon a fellow creature” (2). This show us that Mrs. Brently was not a horrible man, he was just raised in a time where men were taught to coordinate their spouses on anything they do. Since Brently was raised during this time, he thought that he had the right to coordinate Mrs. Mallard on must of the things she did. After all, Mrs. Mallard knew that Brently loved her and he was just doing what he was taught to do. But, when the ambition of being free came to Mrs. Mallard mind, she knew that there would be no one to tell her what to, to press her, or to spare her. Consequently, as soon as a blink of an eye, all of what she thought she had gained: her freedom, a right of self-determination, a world in which she could be her own self, after her husband’s death was gone.

Knowing that there was no one to give orders, Mrs. Mallard knew that she gained her own independency (liberty). She repeated the word “Free, free, free!” (2). Now she felt as if her entire body came alive again. Her heart started to beat faster, she could feel how her blood was getting warmer, her eyes were getting even more brighter (3). Mrs. Mallard knew that from now and on “all sort days… would be her own” (3). Mrs. Mallard now could see a new chance to live a joyful and long-lasting life where she can be her own self, living with no worries. Before, she had been scared of spending her whole life under her husband’s thumb (3). But, now Mrs. Mallard was someone who have a lot experiences fulfill of joy to live. This chance she had was taking away from her when she saw Brently alive entering through the main door. A quick thought came to her mind, now knowing that her husband was alive she could not picture herself going back to her old life style. A life where now she had to return to be a wife (slave, servant) of Brently, because of this thought Mrs. Mallard ends up dying. When Mrs. Mallard was walking down the stairs with her sister Josephine, she had triumph in her eyes (5). When the main door opened, and unexpectedly Brently walked in, Mrs. Mallard for a very brief time understood that she was living on a beautiful world, a world in which she could have lived in any way she wanted to. Mrs. Mallard obtained her independence for a short time. When Brently walked in, Mrs. Mallard immediately knew that she could never be free again. This was too much for Mrs. Mallard, life was sad before, the anticipating years ahead “… with shutter” (3). Now that Mrs. Mallard have seen how her life could be without her husband, she lamentably dies, because of the disillusion of losing everything of what she had aimed for (freedom),

In “The Story of an Hour,” by Kate Chopin, the main character, Mrs. Mallard became a symbol for women who suffered from men-controlled marriages. Chopin presents this symbolism when the main character, Mrs. Mallard, apparently gains liberty when she is told that her husband is supposedly death. However, turns out that Brently, Mrs. Mallard husband, is alive. This causing Mrs. Mallard’s Death. Kate Chopin, throughout her short story “The Story of an Hour,” give us the readers a perspective of a world in the late eighteen hundreds where women were treated as material of reproduction, as servants, as cleaners, as slaves for eternity. However, time has changed now, and women have equal rights here in America. SAY NOT TO SEX DESCRTIMINATION!!!

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