Based on Kate Chopin's short stories, "The Storm" and "The Story of an Hour," what are her views on marriage?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that in the two stories specified, Chopin views marriage as an institution that inhibits individual desires, specifically those of women.  Calixta and Louise Mallard are both repressed, to a certain extent, by marriage.  Calixta has had to subdue obvious sexual feelings while Louise has been limited in being able to express her own voice.  Marriage is seen as a configuration that limits, binds.  It is also shown as one where there is not really a sense of justice or moral order for the women.  This means that right and moral redemption are not necessarily evident in marriage.  Louise's belief in the righteousness of her own voice is not validated at the end of the story.  When confronted with the crushing reality that the fact her husband survives and marriage will continue, Louise dies, indicating that marriage will not validate her voice and provide the moral structure she expects.  Calixta engages in a sexual affair outside her marriage on the night of the storm and there is no punishment for this.   In a way, her marriage actually benefits from the straying outside the marriage in that the morning reveals "everyone is happy."  In this, there is little in way of moral structure or order in marriage for both Louise and Calixta.

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