Kate Chopin

Essay by bossman23University, Bachelor'sA+, May 2006

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Kate Chopin, an American short story writer, is known for her depictions of southern culture, and of women's struggles of freedom. Many of Kate Chopin's short stories make use of irony, starting out conservative but ending quite dramatically. In Kate Chopin's "Desiree's Baby" and "The Story of an Hour," irony appears to be a key concept.

Kate Chopin played an important role in the rights of women during her time. Chopin believed that women should have emotional, sexual, and intellectual freedoms (Chopin). This principle was evident in many of her short stories, and helped to make an impact in the rights of women. The female characters portrayed in Kate Chopin's literary works are unsure of themselves and searching for a personal identity free from societal pressures and influences.

In "The Story of an Hour", the reader learns that Louise Mallard's husband has died in a train wreck.

Louise Mallard's initial reaction to the news was expected, but her secondary feelings were a surprise. She cries when she first hears the news. After hearing the news she runs to her room and locks the door behind her. Louise Mallard feels completely free when she is alone in her room after hearing about her husband's death. Louise Mallard realizes she will "eventually revel in the 'monstrous joy' of self-fulfillment," a freedom she has not known prior to her husband's death (Story). However, the irony of the story is that Louise Mallard's husband has not died. In fact, when he comes home to Louise, his arrival at the end of the day kills her.

In a more detailed survey, Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour" logically confronts the possibility that life gives individual choice. "When the doctors came they said she had dies of...