What is the message of "The Story of An Hour" by Kate Chopin? What is her famous novel? 

The message of Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour" is about a woman's desire for freedom from marriage and thematically argues that oppression can ultimately be a killer. Chopin's most famous novel is The Awakening.

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The message of "The Story of an Hour" is that no one wins when women are oppressed. It is certainly possible to point out that men seem to have more favorable lives when they, but not women, are allowed to have full, rounded identities and lots of roles in society, as well as institutional power. These advantages may make it seem as though men have it made in a scenario like this while women, alone, suffer the consequences of inequality. However, Brently Mallard truly seems to love his wife. Even Louise Mallard, in the midst of her relief that she is now a widow and has acquired a kind of freedom that she has never before possessed, is forced to recall how his face had "never looked save with love upon her." The narrator even describes Brently's hands as "kind" and "tender." How would he feel, do you think, to learn that his beloved wife is actually relieved, even joyful, after hearing of his supposed death? I would think that he'd feel horrified and quite hurt.

It seems as though Louise only married Brently because that is what is expected of women and not because she really loved him and wanted to spend her life with him; she desires independence and autonomy, which she would never get in a marriage during this era. Brently, one would think, would want a wife who loves him back, who would not rejoice in her own freedom after his death. However, as a result of women's oppression in this era, he has a wife who only loves him "sometimes." She certainly loves her freedom more. Therefore, though Brently has more power, his wife doesn't really love him and is mostly happy with the idea of her life after his death.

As others have mentioned, Chopin's famous novel is The Awakening, a text that takes place in the same era and conveys a similar message.

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To determine the message of the short story "The Story of an Hour," it's important to consider the central conflict of the protagonist.

Louise Mallard is not even referred to by her first name until the end of the story. Instead, she is introduced to us as Mrs. Mallard, her identity tied up in that of her husband. When Louise believes that she has been widowed, she finds herself overwhelmed with emotion. She tries to "beat it back" because Louise understands that the joy which fills her soul might be considered "monstrous."

Although this might surprise the reader, Louise's conflict with a society which offers her an identity only in being a wife (and since she is still young, we can presume that later she could add on the role of mother) is a universal conflict spanning time and cultures. Believing herself to be a new widow, Louise looks to the future with eager anticipation, eager for the days ahead when "no powerful will [would] bend hers in … blind persistence." Her soul breathes in the freedom of reclaiming her own "body and soul."

Therefore, the message of this short story is the importance of allowing women to have an independent identity and being free to follow their own dreams. When Louise Mallard's dreams are extinguished as Brently unexpectedly returns home, the loss kills her. She has tasted the "very elixir of life" and cannot live without the possibility of this newfound joy.

As other educators have commented, her most famous novel is The Awakening, published in 1899.

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I would argue that the message of "The Story of an Hour" relates to the oppressive nature of marriage. When Louise hears that her husband, Brently, has died, her grief is almost immediately followed by a feeling of relief that she is now free to live her life on her own terms. This is not to say that Brently was a bad man or an abusive husband. On the contrary, he loved Louise and was good to her. However, living within the confines of marriage meant that Louise had certain obligations.

The notion of living a life free of obligations and expectations leads Louise to an almost giddy feeling of elation. When this is taken away from her when her husband arrives home and the news of his death is proved to be false, Louise dies on the spot. While the doctors call the cause of death a heart attack, Kate Chopin is subtly implying that it is the loss of her newfound freedom and the knowledge of her continued oppression within her marriage that kills her.

Kate Chopin’s most famous novel is The Awakening, which is set in the late 1800s and tells the story of another woman’s sexual awakening, liberation, and desire for freedom from her husband.

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Kate Chopin's most famous short novel is called The Awakening, and it was published in 1899.

Her 1894 short story, "The Story of an Hour," suggests that for women of the time, many freedoms that they desired were denied to them because of the repressive nature of marriage and, more broadly, society. Only when her husband Brently Mallard is presumed dead does Louise begin to dream of a free "body and soul." The story does not suggest that Brently Mallard is abusive toward Louise, but she longs to be free of the "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." Louise longs for the ability to make her own decisions and spend her time as she chooses. The fact that her husband's friend Richards is there both to break the news to her and shield her from the shocking reappearance of Brently suggests a paternalistic societal structure that treats Louise like a child.

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There have been many differing views published on "Story of an Hour" but most readers agree that it is a feminist expression.  The story was written in 1890's and it reflected the very real idea of American society at that time that a woman could live only through her husband.  Most readers are shocked-more so then than now- that Mrs. Mallard feels free now that her husband is dead.  Irony is woven throughout this very short story.  Still the overriding "message" of this story is that Mrs. Mallard is in a marriage that literally kills her.

Kate Chopin is probably far better known for her short stories like "The Storm" and "Desiree's Baby", but the more famous of her two novels was The Awakening.  Her other novel was At Fault.

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