Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour": A Feminist Reading
There are many forms of oppression in "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin. Not only does
Louise Mallard suffer in her medical and marital conditions, but she also poses a threat to
herself, as her sister Josephine warns. This danger is particularly noticeable, since all of the
action in the story revolves around Louise Mallard's preservation. Everything is orchestrated to
save her from
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depended on a lack of self, since a woman was
meant to live for others.
The oppression under which Louise suffers was by no means unusual for the time. What
is ultimately unexpected and sudden in the story is the opportunity for and exploration of her
experience of freedom, no matter how transient. Louise's recognition of her unhappiness
illustrates Chopin's commitment to a woman's perspective and what it beholds beyond the
horizons of male discourse.