The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin "what are we able to learn about women's roles and society's attitudes at the time this story was written?"
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Chopin was writing at a time when the political and social position of women in society was much debated and discussed. By the time the story was published in 1894, the vote had been held by black men for 25 years. The question as to why women’s suffrage was still not established was becoming hotly debated.
Many of her stories were rejected for publication as her feminist principles were often too clearly stated.’ The Story of an Hour ‘was still quite controversial in that the protagonist appears to revel in the freedom brought about by her husband’s demise. The suitably ambiguous ending of Louisa dying of ‘the joy that kills’ meant that the story could be seen as showing female weakness in her ‘heart trouble’ or the overwhelming happiness in seeing her husband return. It is likely that without these ambiguities the story would have been refused publication.
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