The Story of an Hour and the Storm by Kate Chopin Analysis

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During the late nineteen centuries, the sole purpose of a women was encouraging and nurturing her kids and husband from her home. Women weren’t able function like men in society because they fall under the category, which historians refer to as the “cult of domesticity”. This is also known as the cult of true womanhood. For women, marriage played an essential part in their lives and was seen as a lifelong commitment. During this time period, women were expected to live with their husbands, even if that meant having a miserable marriage and were therefore not supposed to divorce, as it was looked down upon. This Male dominated ideal lead to many women feeling imprisoned in their own homes, powerless to the limitations placed on them by society. One might believe that because of the time period in which the author lived, she was not able to have a voice and thus found a means of expressing herself through her writing. In “The Storm” and “The Story of an Hour”, written by Kate Chopin, one might believe that the author conveyed a common theme in both stories, challenging her readers to question gender roles and societal views, but also allow the reader to become connected with the lives of women experienced during this time and show they should be given more independence.

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As the writer, one can infer that the author allowed the main character of “The Storm”by Kate Chopin analysis to commit an act that, was viewed as a crime in order to promote woman empowerment. Society makes it seem as if the man is always the one to deceit the wife, while the wife patiently waited at home for king to arrive. During this period, Kate Chopin was not supportive of the depiction of women portrayed by society and so she set out to change it. “Now-well, now-her lips seemed in a manner free to be tasted, as well as her round, white throat and her whiter breasts.” Chopin proceeds to have Calixta commit adultery and enjoy it, which probes the reader to question the humanity of women and not treating them as just objects. Committing this sinful act in her own house is a representation of society’s views on women and how women were more than just the actors that were all forced to play same “stay at home mother” role. Chopin believes that “The Storm” features two similar yet different wives who long for some form of freedom. Calixta and Clarisse are both involved with the same man and seem invested in caring for their families. However, one can suggest that they both long for a time in which they are single and free. “Devoted as she was to her husband, their intimate conjugal life was something which she was more than willing to forego for a while .” This search for satisfaction leads to Clarisse discovering finding freedom in Alcee’s absence while Calixta found pleasure in having sex with Alcee.

In an analysis of “The Storm,” the author notes how the reader is introduced to Calixta at her home as she performs chores around the house, unaware of the coming storm. This implies that “her sexuality is repressed by the constraints of her marriage and society’s view of women, represented in this passage by the housework.” They believed that the raging storm was symbolic of the storm raging in Calixta’s. Note that after the storm, she was filled with joy and believed that, “Coming as she does from a progressive society the author doesn’t have problems alluding to female sexuality and independence of choice.” The author also believes that “The Storm” is a metaphor reflecting Calixta’s sexual longing as a result of her inadwquate relationship with her husband. They mention that just as the climax of the storm takes the characters in the story by surprise, the emotional storm of sexual fulfillment takes Calixta by surprise as well. “The words “a discomfort that causes her to loosen her collar” talks about the physical discomfort caused by oppressive climatic conditions as well as the psychological discomfort caused by an oppressive marital life .” Traditionally, men are granted more privileges in marriage and the author believes that, “Chopin broadened the intellectual horizons of the readers by presenting to them a woman’s point of view of marriage – both the psychological and physical aspects .”

In the “The Story of an Hour”, the readers are then introduced to Mrs. Mallard who represented a typical woman during the 1800s. She must hear the news of her husband’s death. At first, she responded with understandable grief over the loss of her most cherished husband. Once she had entered the room, all of her grief had been thrown out the window. she then began to realize the true meaning of freedom. At the start, she felt confused by the emotions rushing into her body and tried to suppress those feelings. Mrs. Mallard tries to “beat it back with her will ,” but finally had no choice but to acknowledge these thoughts. This was a perfect way Chopin showed how females were displeased with the position forced onto them by society and how they yearned for independence. “She said it over and over under her breath: Free, Free, Free!.” Mrs. Mallard had sensed that the life she had longed for so badly and finally come into fruition. Many women, just like Mrs. Mallard, see themselves trapped in relationships they are not satisfied with. The perfect solution had fallen into Mrs. Mallards lap causing her to get rid of the extraneous load most women carried at the time. She could never express her thoughts to anyone as the rest of society would have seen her as a psychopath. Readers can infer that Mrs. Mallard loved her husband and nothing could suggest that he ever did anything to harm her, “But she saw beyond the bitter moment a long procession of years to come that would belong to her absolutely. And she opened and spread her arms out to them in welcome . She saw her life as being solely hers, a new canvas as one might say, but society wasn’t ready to give her this fresh new start. She would no longer have to be dependent on her husband and can live the rest of her life as a woman with rights, a woman who was free. However, at the end of the story when her husband returned, she was brutally stripped of her freedom and placed back into the cliché role of womanhood during this period. Her short-lived joy disappeared as quickly as it came, but the mere taste of it was enough to kill her.

In an analysis of the short story, the author also believed that Mr. Mallard's death had much more meaning to his wife. His death “made her see something she hasn't seen before and might likely never have seen if he had lived: her desire for self-determination .” Once she allowed herself to recognize the freedom that approached her, her fear turned into acceptance and excitement. Moreover, the author notes how Chopin describes Louise's vision of self-determination and how it's not so much about getting rid of her husband than it is about being entirely in charge of her own life, body, and soul. Chopin writes: 'There would be no one to live for her during those coming years; she would live for herself. There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a will upon a fellow-creature .' The author pointed out the phrase men and women and suggested that Mrs.Mallard never depicted any specific offenses her husband had committed against her; “rather, the implication seems to be that marriage can be stifling for both parties.” This author suggests that the roles of both men and women were seen as equally stressful. Women and children were solely reliant on the husband and one can infer that Chopin wanted the readers to understand that women were capable of doing anything that a man could do. She believed they could help their husbands provide for their family instead of having society keeping them at home all day.

The stories “The Storm” and “The Story of an Hour” gave the readers an insight on the thoughts of Kate Chopin. Through her short stories, readers can understand her views on women and how she recognized that women played bigger roles than what was intended for them. Even though the feminist movement started in the 1960's, there were women ahead of their time that were feminist too. One could consider a pioneer of the feminist movement. She believed that men women should be granted the same rights in all aspects of life. Lastly, it is also important to remember that feminism isn’t just for women. It is for all people fighting for equality and human rights. 

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