Many people think of marriage as a beautiful thing however data is showing us that nearly fifty percent of marriages end in divorce or separation.The story of an hour is set in the 1800’s when women didn’t have many rights. In the story of an hour Mrs Mallard learns that her husband has died and instead of having the expected reaction of devastation she seems to actually be relieved. When Mrs Mallard first learns of her husband’s death she cries and wants to grieve by herself but then as the story progresses she expresses that she finally feels free. Towards the end of the story Mrs Mallard’s sister Josephine shows up to her house with a look of distress and before she can explain why Mr Mallard walks through the door. Instead of being overcome with joy Mrs Mallard drops dead. Mrs Mallard suffered with an ongoing heart condition but also i believe that she died because her freedom got ripped out of her hands within a matter of seconds. This shows that this marriage was obviously toxic, and many women nowadays would have left their husband but since this story is set in the 1800’s divorce was not an option and women had little to no rights. Kate Chopin’s main idea of marriage is that it is repressive,which she shows through irony, imagery, and diction.
Chopin uses irony to array that marriage takes away your freedom. Kate Chopin states “when the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease- of joy that kills”. This proves my point because yes she died from her heart condition, but the reason her heart gave out was because of the overwhelming feeling of her freedom getting ripped away.If Mrs Mallard was happy and had freedom within her marriage then why would she be devastated to find out that her husband was alive. As I said before, a lot of modern women would have left in the position but because of the time period Mrs Mallard didn’t have that option. “The tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life”. This quote is ironic because she just found out her husband has perished, but instead of being mournful she is focused on how beautiful it is outside. Now that Mr Mallard is gone it is almost like a dark cloud has been lifted from her allowing her to appreciate even the simplest of things that she couldn’t before. In the same way that irony exposes the repressive nature of marriage, imagery allows us to actually see the repression.
Kate Chopin uses imagery to display that marriage restrains your freedom. “She was beginning to recognize this thing that was approaching to possess her, and she was striving to beat it back with her will as powerless as her two white slender hands would have been”.This quote constitutes as imagery because it helps us visualize Mrs Mallard giving into the overwhelming feeling of freedom despite the fact that her husband has died.Chopin says “This thing that was approaching to possess her,she was striving to beat it back with her will” what it is saying is the Mrs.Mallard is upset about her husband’s death,but she can’t fight back the sense of relief and freedom that she is feeling.Mrs mallard does feel an upset of course because that’s her husband however she can’t fight back the amazing feeling of finally being free.
In conclusion, “The Story of an Hour” proves that marriage is repressive through many quota of the story. Marriage can be a happy thing full of love however in certain situations like Mrs Mallards it was like signing away her freedom and her life to her husband. Marriage will never be this one specific situation but no matter how happy you are on some level marriage will always take away part of ur freedom.
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