In terms of Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour," there are a number of positions you may want to discuss—if you understand the subject and include background as support, you can produce three paragraphs.
This should not be a difficult assignment if you have read the story...but I would also suggest reading it a second time. It is short enough that it won't take long. (One of the things I love about it is that it is so powerfully presented—so impactful—while it is still so short.) I would also make sure to read the eNotes Historical Context and the Biography because they give strong insights into the concerns Chopin had while writing the piece (what the world was like for a woman then)—and it is timeless enough to still speak to its audience today.
In terms of a position, I would offer several. First, women were repressed; they were not used to personal freedom, but were subject to their husband's will:
But she saw beyond that bitter moment a long procession of years to come that would belong to her absolutely.
Or, I would suggest it was strictly a man's world. The doctor's cannot conceive that Louise Mallard would want anything but to be married...that the "joy" of seeing Brently killed her—not even shock.
When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease--of the joy that kills.
Many women could not recognize inner-strength—that Louise doesn't show weakness frightens Josephine.
Josephine was kneeling before the closed door with her lips to the keyhold, imploring for admission. "Louise, open the door! I beg; open the door--you will make yourself ill. What are you doing, Louise? For heaven's sake open the door."
Women were not raised to question their place in a male-dominated society. When Louise realizes that she is "free," at first she is horrified by the thought, even while she is exhilarated by it:
There was something coming to her and she was waiting for it, fearfully. What was it? She did not know; it was too subtle and elusive to name. But she felt it, creeping out of the sky, reaching toward her through the sounds, the scents, the color that filled the air.
Now her bosom rose and fell tumultuously. 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.
All of these positions are based upon societal expectations for women at the turn of the last century. Even while women were fighting for the right to vote, and very much involved in improving society (drunkenness, unwed mothers, public sanitation, etc.), society was in control, regarding what was appropriate for women, as perceived a society of men:
It was 1894 when the story was published—
...an era [of] many social and cultural questions...[one] referred to as the "Woman Question," involved which roles were acceptable for women to assume in society.
Chopin's stories considered issues that raised eyebrows and questioned age-old standards...
The stories center around the themes of class relations, relationships between men and women...
The illuminations that came to Louise were those occurring to countless women of the time.
A final argument might be: is it better to be alive and controlled, or free and dead? This, too, is something Chopin presents in the "scandalous" ideas this story presents.
Support your argument with evidence, and you'll have enough for three paragraphs!
Essay on Kate Chopin's The Story of an Hour
655 Words3 Pages
Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour"
In “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin, the author depicts how someone can be trapped in an unproductive and unsatisfying reality because of other’s thoughtlessness, exploitation, and domination. When combined with the contemporary society’s belief, presumably the later half of the 19th century, a further understanding of Chopin’s thoughts and feelings can be realized. Mrs. Louise Mallard, the victim and messenger of this story, is the image of such a person. Her relationship with her husband is so oppressive and limiting that even death is considered a reasonable means of escape. The condition of life for Mrs. Mallard is terrible, yet for some reason she doesn’t seem to come to the full…show more content…
She is realizing that she will have freedom through her husband death and whispers over and over, “free, free, free!” Her unhappiness is not with her husband, it is her rankings in society and becoming a widow is her only chance she has to gain the power, money, respect, and most of all freedom.
At the time of this story many women didn’t have any source of revenue, so in order for her to gain the money she wanted to get the freedom she finally deserved; she would have to obtain it in two ways: inherited from her husband or receive it from her family. Mrs. Mallard was on her way to becoming the free woman she needed to be but there was this one thing holding her back, money, and the only the question was how she was going to get it in a respectable way. In the later half on the 19th century women looked at as the wife and mother, keeper of the household, guardian of moral purity of all who lived there. The home was to be a haven of comfort and quiet and sheltered from the harsh realities of the working world. Children were to be cherished and nurtured, and to pulling against these traditions was the sense of urgency. Women’s roles were meant to steady, but women could not help but see opportunities for themselves in this growth. Jobs opened up in factories, retail establishments and offices, giving women new options.