liberation of a feminist icon
Liberation of a Feminist Icon
The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin examines feminine selfhood in the patriarchal society. The source of the story’s indictment of the despotic culture is the liberal feminist theory, with a strong focus on personal autonomy. This essay reviews the extent to which women are perceived as the “other,” who lacks a voice of identity, but only exist merely as a subordinate figure to the man. It further reviews the power relations, showing the patriarchal entrapment of role constraints between women and men. The story also reacts to the historic constrain of denying the woman her true sovereign desires. It describes the brief liberation of Mrs. Mallard, who becomes aware of her feminine self after she is falsely informed of her husband’s tragic death in a railroad accident, setting her on a path to personal independence since there is no husband to impose his will on her. However, this profound journey is cut short when her husband unexpectedly returns home, leading to her ironic and sudden death. Chopin’s story is significant in analyzing the possibility of feminine self-assertion and challenges in the manner in which gender constraints and roles in a patriarchal society erase the feminine identity.
The story illustrates symbolically the patriarchal society that erases women’s identity and feminine selfhood. The protagonist is introduced to the reader from the point of view of he…
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