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The narrator’s attitude toward marriage is one of disapproval, not because of the human affections that are brought out by the institution, but because of the control it gives men over women (see paragraphs 14 and 23). The relief that Louise finds in discovering newly found freedom (paragraphs 11–16) is an aspect of tone that stresses her previously unspoken dissatisfaction with her inferior status as a deferential wife. This motif is common throughout the works of Kate Chopin and could be somewhat biographical, but is equally common among other 20th century works as women were considered more to be second-class citizens at the time.
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