Epiphany in "The Story of an Hour" Analytical Essay by Nicky

Epiphany in "The Story of an Hour"
An analysis of how Kate Chopin, in "The Story of an Hour", uses a woman's epiphany to challenge the marriage status in the 19th century.
# 148710 | 1,320 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2011 | US
Published on Nov 03, 2011 in Literature (American)

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The paper discusses how the heart trouble of Mrs. Mallard symbolizes her constricting marriage and therefore she feels joy and a sense of liberation in her husband's death. The paper describes how Mrs. Mallard experiences an epihany when she finds out that her husband has died; it gives her hope that she can live without a man's authority. The paper then points out that her momentary happiness only lasts for an hour since this represents feminism that was never to be allowed in the 19th century Victorian society.

From the Paper:

"The Story of an Hour takes the reader in the 19th century, where marriage for women was an inevitable penitentiary, and the injustice was judged by the society. According to the Victorian Epoch, a woman's mission in life would not be complete without marriage. Most of the women lived under men's authority because men held all the resources and women had no capacity for independent subsistence. Marriage was no longer about happiness or love, but a contract to impose on women's freedom. The women at that time had little choice because they had to obey men's orders. Through many years of social oppressions, women began to realize their lack of freedom. Vicinus writes in Independent Women: "To the hearts of women all the world over a word has been whispered-the awakening word, Freedom (Vicinus 256)." This figure of speech showed how women desired freedom, but they could only keep this unspeakable secret inside their heart because the whole society accepted the inequality between men and women. This entire situation is dealt within Chopin's The Story of an Hour.
"After being trapped for many years under the oppressive social conventions of marriage, Mrs. Mallard becomes physically and emotionally ill or unstable. The story begins with the Mrs. Mallard's serious illness that "she was afflicted with heart trouble" for a long time (523). Although the author does not mention anything about Mrs. Mallard's past, this passage may imply that she has suffered from an unhappy marriage. Mrs. Mallard, a young lady, has serious heart trouble in her early age, which shows the lack of care from her husband. Apathetic husbands are normal in the 19th century. Therefore, most of those marriages were not built on love, but built under the duty to the social circumstances as well as obligations."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Chopin, Kate. "The Story of an Hour." Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. Ed. X.J. Kennedy. New York: PEARSON, 2007. 523-524.
  • Inge, Tonette. "Kate Chopin." Literary Biography. Pennsylvania State University Article. 1989. GALE Resource Database. Information Retrieved April 3, 2009. <http://galenet.galegroup.com>.
  • Morehouse, Susan. Woman in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. Ed. Annie Commire. Vol. 3. Detroit: Yorkin Publication, 2000. 697-702.
  • Parini, Jay. et al. American Writers. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 2003.
  • Seyersted, Per. An excerpt from Kate Chopin: A Critical Biography. Louisiana State University Press Article. 1969. GALE Resource Database. Information Retrieved April 3, 2009. < http://galenet.galegroup.com>.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Epiphany in "The Story of an Hour" (2011, November 03) Retrieved October 01, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/epiphany-in-the-story-of-an-hour-148710/

MLA Format

"Epiphany in "The Story of an Hour"" 03 November 2011. Web. 01 October. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/epiphany-in-the-story-of-an-hour-148710/>