Good Marriage And Repression In Chopin’s “The Storm” And “The Story Of An Hour” Essay Example

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Women, Family, Marriage, Literature, Love, Husband, Wind, Life

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2020/11/05

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In Kate Chopin’s time, marriage and motherhood was a sacred institution, seen as a women’s primary role and identity in life. A women’s place was “in the home,” and women were expected to devote themselves to being homemakers and sacrifice their own ambitions and happiness to create a happy and comfortable home for their husbands. In her short stories, “The Story of an Hour” and “The Storm,” Chopin portrays the women protagonists as feeling trapped in a loveless and unrewarding relationships. Their marriages are passionless and stifling. However, Calixta takes matters into hew own hands, and frees herself from the drudgery of her marriage by committing adultery. Louise is a more submissive character, who only finds freedom when she learns of her husbands death. When she discovers he is still alive, she dies from a heart attack; it is a suicide of sorts, taking herself out of her own misery. In both marriages, the women feel suffocated and neglected. However, Calixta is a more liberated and independent women, and her adultery actually seems to not only maker her happier, it also strengthens her marriage. Both are proto-feminists texts that explore the world of a women’s mind without stereotyping or idealization.
A major theme in “The Story of an Hour” is repression. Louise holds in her emotions and has a weak heart. Her sister is afraid that the news of her husbands death will kill her. When Louise learns of Brantley’s death, she follows expected social conventions, and goes to her room to “mourn.” However, she feels more alive and exhilarated than ever. His death is the first day of the rest of her life: “Free! Body and soul free!" she kept whispering (119). Her life would be her own without a man telling her what to do. The reader does not get much insight into the exact nature of the repression, but assume it must be bad if a wife is so overwhelmed with joy at her own husband’s death. Today, women’s equality is taken for granted and divorce is common and socially acceptable. Louise did not have the options of a career, or divorce. She was living a confined life completely dependent on her husband.
Calixta is a different type of women. She is less repressed than Louise and perhaps more neglected by her husband. She is a more powerful character than Louise, and described as “a little fuller of figure than five years before when she married; but she had lost nothing of her vivacity" (189) She has experienced passion before, and it may have gradually leaked out of her marriage. Unlike Louise’s husband, who is largely a mysterious figure, Calixta’s husband seems to be thoughtful and care about her, buying her a can of shrimp and warmly embracing her on his return. She is portrayed as a wholesome and loving wife and mother. Like the adulterous encounter, the storm is not expected, it is a force of nature like sexuality. Her old lover Alcee is also looking for passion, and they meet unexpectedly during the storm for passionate lovemaking. Neither were looking to commit adultery, and the readers senses this is something entirely spontaneous, enhancing the passionate and wild nature of the rendezvous. When Alcee leaves, and Calixta’s husband and son return, the story ends with “the storm passed and every one was happy” (190). Calixta is still a devoted wife and mother, but she is also an independent and empowered person, who is not repressed. At the time, this was a very radical statement about female independence.
In both stories, Chopin is giving us the private and intimate thoughts of married women. “The Story of an Hour” is about repression and dependence, suggesting that the power relationship in marriages at the time were unfair and unnatural for women. ‘The Storm,” however, is implying something completely different. For women, monogamy may also be a little restraining, and bending the rules of marriage may make a women’s life better. As proto-feminist texts, they both offer alternative ways of looking at a women’s role in society. “The Storm” explores a woman’s natural sexuality, while “The Story of an Hour” offers insights into women’s liberation, an important theme in feminist literature.

Work Cited

Chopin, Kate, and Sandra M. Gilbert. The Awakening, and Selected Stories. New York,
NY, U.S.A.: Penguin, 1984. Print.

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WePapers. (2020, November, 05) Good Marriage And Repression In Chopin’s “The Storm” And “The Story Of An Hour” Essay Example. Retrieved September 19, 2021, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-marriage-and-repression-in-chopins-the-storm-and-the-story-of-an-hour-essay-example/
"Good Marriage And Repression In Chopin’s “The Storm” And “The Story Of An Hour” Essay Example." WePapers, 05 Nov. 2020, https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-marriage-and-repression-in-chopins-the-storm-and-the-story-of-an-hour-essay-example/. Accessed 19 September 2021.
WePapers. 2020. Good Marriage And Repression In Chopin’s “The Storm” And “The Story Of An Hour” Essay Example., viewed September 19 2021, <https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-marriage-and-repression-in-chopins-the-storm-and-the-story-of-an-hour-essay-example/>
WePapers. Good Marriage And Repression In Chopin’s “The Storm” And “The Story Of An Hour” Essay Example. [Internet]. November 2020. [Accessed September 19, 2021]. Available from: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-marriage-and-repression-in-chopins-the-storm-and-the-story-of-an-hour-essay-example/
"Good Marriage And Repression In Chopin’s “The Storm” And “The Story Of An Hour” Essay Example." WePapers, Nov 05, 2020. Accessed September 19, 2021. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-marriage-and-repression-in-chopins-the-storm-and-the-story-of-an-hour-essay-example/
WePapers. 2020. "Good Marriage And Repression In Chopin’s “The Storm” And “The Story Of An Hour” Essay Example." Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. Retrieved September 19, 2021. (https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-marriage-and-repression-in-chopins-the-storm-and-the-story-of-an-hour-essay-example/).
"Good Marriage And Repression In Chopin’s “The Storm” And “The Story Of An Hour” Essay Example," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 05-Nov-2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-marriage-and-repression-in-chopins-the-storm-and-the-story-of-an-hour-essay-example/. [Accessed: 19-Sep-2021].
Good Marriage And Repression In Chopin’s “The Storm” And “The Story Of An Hour” Essay Example. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-marriage-and-repression-in-chopins-the-storm-and-the-story-of-an-hour-essay-example/. Published Nov 05, 2020. Accessed September 19, 2021.
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