Kate Chopin and her “The Story of an Hour” that was originally published in Vogue back in 1894, were forces that shook society of that time. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, a question of women’s rights was topical. Yet, this subject matter and the overall state of affairs regarding women’s emancipation were suppressed under the male-dominated world.
Even though the plot itself deserves separate attention and writer’s style, which incorporates personifications, irony, and tons of literary devices, we will focus mostly on the leitmotif of the story. Since “The Story of an Hour” was heavily misunderstood after its publication, we’ve often seen literary reviews, which also misled their readers. That’s why we are here, to shed some light on Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” by providing a comprehensive critique of this story. That being said, we invite you to read our exclusively prepared material, as follows.
It would be dubious about learning, reviewing, and analyzing Chopin and her “The Story of an Hour” without taking a closer look at some context. This story was published in a setting of a male-dominated society where the subject matters of women’s rights and feminism were not main priorities. The intriguing plot involves a story of Louise Mallard, who is witnessing the news of her husband’s Brently Mallard tragic demise.
Throughout this piece, a reader can review how a reaction towards the death of Brently Mallard involves a thorough self-reflection of Louise. Not only does she become reflexive in re-identifying herself, but the feelings within Louise’s mind are also representative of what marriage was back in the nineteenth century.
With tiny bits of context represented, you might be wondering how Kate Chopin in her “The Story of an Hour” managed to mix genres so skillfully that no reader can understand the irony after reading this story. Chopin’s story serves as a superb ironic representation of how females felt themselves in marriages that were limiting their potential. Now, let’s head on to review how the author works with a narration style to understand what Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” is about.
We cannot express all skills of the author, Kate Chopin, regarding the expression of irony without taking a look at a plot of this story. As it progresses, alongside all reflections of Louise Mallard, she heads back downstairs. Eventually, she explores that Brently, her husband, has just returned home. Her joy associated with a renewed freedom and self-identification is quickly getting replaced with a genuine shock. As a result, she falls and dies from such a shock.
What is ironic is the ending that Kate Chopin imagined in her story. Once doctors come to inspect Louise, they conclude that she died because of heart disease. This illness was said to be of joy that kills. In Kate Chopin’s short story, one can realize that from a contextual perspective, all doctors, even closer to the end of the nineteenth century, were men. Therefore, not a single medical worker would state a real reason why Louise Mallard died. Presumably, the main forces that provoked a heart disease were shock and horror. Chopin’s irony in this fragment of this story is representative, especially since some readers can really think that this narrative is concerned with joy, but not horrors of news about Brently.
The illustrated setting was a time that reflected even on touching issues, such as women’s rights. The news about the death of Brently Mallard was met by constant self-reflection on how to react to such issues. On the one hand, Chopin displays that it was common to express a sense of grief associated with the death of a husband. On the other hand, a sudden burst of joy and self-realization connected to freedom was one of the forces that clearly illustrate how brilliantly Kate Chopin illustrated the institution of marriage.
We should also attract your attention to persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon the wife even now. Regardless of your attitude towards marriage, it is worthy of noting that the author raised a topical subject matter of freedom within marriage. Senses of joy, freedom, and the birth of a new identity were the main emotions associated with Brently’s death. That’s why Kate Chopin doesn’t include any factual information regarding this couple’s life before the narrative took place.
Judging from the outlined emotions and feelings, any reader can make its own analysis based on the life of this couple before a narrative pointed out by Chopin. Even though it might not be the right time to speculate about it, a topical question of women’s rights is raised in this story. Chopin’s intentions to describe the life of a typical couple back then.
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Although Chopin’s legacy of works is not limited to this specific writing, most people commonly refer to it as her masterpiece. According to dozens of other critical responses, Chopin’s ideas were highly influential regarding the understanding of love. When in this story, the wife thinks of love, she immediately rejects this idea due to its meaningless character. Chopin’s thoughts regarding marriage and feminine awareness were prominent bursts that shook a literary tradition of the twentieth century.
It is also worthy of pointing out that Chopin’s innovative ideas regarding the use of irony were groundbreaking both for critics and her first readers. Since this story was not the first Chopin’s writing piece, it became a piece that made her recognizable as a writer. That being said, we can only recommend making an interpretation of your own based on what you’ve learned from our material. Good luck!