What is a critical feminist view of "The Story of an Hour"?What is a critical feminist view of the story?

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cmcqueeney's profile pic

cmcqueeney | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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A critical feminist view of this short story focuses on female oppression in 19th century society and more specifically in marriages of the time. During that time period, women were owned by their husbands and had little to no control over their own lives. Chopin reveals the tragedy of this situation through an intimate exploration of the protagonist as well as the descriptive details of the story.

One indication of the protagonist's oppression is in the first sentence where she is named "Mrs. Mallard".  Her husband is given a first name, but the protagonist's first name isn't revealed until much later in the story; she is only referred to as the wife of Brently Mallard.  Later, as she is processing the "death" of her husband, Louise describes marriage as a "crime" -  "[a] powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature. "  She admits that her husband wasn't really cruel to her, but just the fact that she had a husband stripped her of her identity and will. And then the conclusion of the story hits home the tragedy of Mrs. Mallard's role as a woman when again, the existence of her husband deprives her of life.

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pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The feminist perspective that is expressed in The Story of an Hour, by Kate Chopin is the sense of freedom that Louise Mallard experiences after she is told that her husband has been killed in a train accident.

For a brief period of time, Louise celebrates the glory of being unchained from a controlling husband.

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zoobia | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

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What is a critical feminist view of the story?