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Modern marriages have attracted a lot of generalizations that graph out the social-psychological profile of both men and women in discovering solutions on how to reconcile their relationships to live as discrete individuals. In many societies, married women have been subjected to destructive situations that create a concrete prison within their marriages. A wide variety of feminist have come out strongly to defend the belief that passionate love is not synonymous with marriage in choose of women who have been humiliated by their husbands and the communities where they are married. This task will discuss feminism stories by Kate Chopin of analyzing the roles assigned to women in the 1800s and their difficulty in reconciling their opinions to be close to their partners (Chopin 158).
Many women in the1800s have been deprived their rights and lack of freedom. Kate Chopin short story, “The Story of an Hour” is a narrative that portrays a feminist character as she recounts women’s lack of freedom in the1800s. She describes that Women had no rights in their marriages and their main responsibility was to satisfy their spouse’s needs. (Chopin 156). Mrs. Mallard, the main character in “The Story of an Hour” is a young woman who suffers from heart trouble. When she received the news of her husband’s death she becomes a bit emotional but she is soon overjoyed after gaining her freedom. Mrs. Mallard breaks away from traditional role forced onto her as the perfect wife after her husband’s death that stopped her from holding herself back. Times passes by and Mrs. Mallard is ironically sad when she learns that her husband was not actually dead and would be returning home. She regrets that moment because her freedom would be taken away. The analysis of Chopin illustrates the historical and feminist lenses on women’s self-identity amid male-dominated society and how women’s lacked freedom in their unions (Chopin 458).
The women characters in Kate Chopin’s stories seem to be trapped in confining gender roles. These roles have subjected women to gender inequalities that hindered their personal development. Chopin expounds that whenever divorces issues frowned upon all the property was given to the males because women’s rights and feminism did not exist in the 1800s. In the 1800s divorces were frowned upon and everything was given to the males. However, despite their gender imbalances, the women could find new strategies to challenge oppressive roles or subvert them (Chopin 459). Both Calixta and Alcee as portrayed in the Chopin story, “The Storm", do not face any guilty after being caught up in the adulterous act because it was a way of setting themselves free from all the negative experiences they had in their marriages. It is, therefore, evident that marriages bond and relationship ties do not always result in astute happiness in individuals (Chopin 349). The oppressed status of women in American society makes them be weaker beings in their society. Their oppression is through a limitation of their rights to vote, access to higher education and exclusion from professional careers. This has occurred in many societies where women’s subordination to male authority either in church and state has been upheld (Chopin 412).
The continuous oppression has increased the women’s Victimization in terms of wages, property ownership rights, and divorce consent. As such, in cases of separation women’s are left out lonely because men take away all the family’s properties and children leaving them with freedom alone which she treasures most (Baym and Robert). Chopin’s uses her story to enlighten the modern woman because she is angered by the male dominated society. She argues that men can take their wealth away since they acquired them while their wives were left behind giving birth and raising their children. She thus argues that women should stand firm and prove that they are worthy enough to inherit the family’s assets (Chopin 459).
In other scenarios, women are forced to seek sexual satisfaction outside their marriage. This is evident in an underlying story that is clear when Calixta and Alcee engage in sex. Calixta justifies her adulterous action when she rethinks of the unsatisfied sexual relationship she has been having with Bobinot. (Chopin, 807) despite the fact that her husband, Bobinot is extremely a kind husband, Calixta exclaims that she has never experienced such sexual pleasure as compared to how she felt while having sex with Alcee. Most women cannot discuss sexual life with their husband's leaving them more prone to adultery desires to seek intimate satisfaction (Chopin 90).
Both stories offer a reflection of the inappropriate women position within their marital relationships following feminist rebellions attempts. Chopin has however highlighted areas that women need to work on to improve the reconciliation process to allow their opinions and ideas to be heard in the society through the adoption of critical feminist literary approach (Chopin 94). The story of an Hour illustrates a typical stereotypical housewife who awaits her freedom when her husband dies while Chopin’s The Storm demonstrates a lady’s disappointments in her relationship that leaves her with a choice of seeking sexual satisfaction from a third party because her partner is boring. Chopin has succeeded in presenting the position of women and their contributions in saving their relationships and marriages (Chopin 157).
Chopin, Kate. "Story of an Hour." New York: Vogue Magazine, 1894. 156-158.
Chopin, Kate. “The Storm." In Great Short Stories by American Women. Ed. Candace Ward. 90-94. New York: Dover, 1996
Chopin, Kate. “At the ‘Cadien Ball.” Short Stories of America. Ed. Robert L. Ramsay. Cambridge, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 1921. 149 – 160. Print.
Baym, Nina and Robert S Levine. The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Vol. 2, 1865 to the Present, Shorter ed.New York, W.W. Norton & Co., 2013,.
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