How can Kate Chopin's The Story of an Hour be read as a feminist text? How does it speak for all women?

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junethanbeck eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mrs. Mallard weeps over her husband's supposed passing, but the thrill of freedom overwhelms her grief as spring overwhelms the passing winter.  

In "The Story of an Hour: The Theme of Female Self-Assertion" by Jennifer Hicks (see link below) "Some of Chopin's short stories were rejected for publication on moral grounds, for editors perceived in them an unseemly interest in female self-assertion and sexual liberation."

The irony presented in Chopin's short story accentuates the importance of self-assertion for women, even women who care deeply for their husbands. Feminism seeks equality for all and Chopin illuminates the inequality of a woman repressed by a seemingly happy marriage to a good man. 


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