Women in Kate Chopin's perspective

Essay by griefdweller23High School, 12th gradeA-, May 2009

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For centuries there has always been a struggle for women to find equality andrespect from men. Kate Chopin's literary work often include male and female genderroles that are sometimes challenged by the female protagonists in the stories. Her literarywork include themes such as liberation and conformity in society. In Kate Chopin's noveland fictional short stories, "The Awakening" "The Story of an Hour," "Desiree's Baby"and "The Storm," show examples of the lack of freedom in the role of women in society.

They also depict a metamorphosis from weak and dependent woman supported by theirhusband's to stronger, more independent women.

In the 19th century, people in society were expected to fulfill their role. KateChopin's "The Awakening" delineates the injustices of society. Set in Creole society inthe late 1800s, The Awakening as depicted by Kate Chopin vindicates the period bysuggesting that women's divergence forces society to ostracize them from other socialgroups.

The woman's place was in the home, caring for the children, cleaning the house,and doing other "womanly" tasks. Chained to their husbands, marriage became prison tomany women. Edna Pontellier, the protagonist is a middle-upper class woman whosuffers by the "obedience to he husband's compelling wishes." Edna would rather dowhat she wanted, yet she yields to his commands. Women's roles in society parallel totheir degradation. While men are allowed to frolic about playing games and traveling toother parts of the country, their wives sit home fulfilling their "duty towards theirchildren" and completing their household work.

The novel shows Edna's gender construction by the society that she lives in, basedon Chopin's portrayal of her in the novel trying to obtain independence and control overher life in a society where she is expected to have none. Women like Edna are lookeddown upon in a society that expects a woman to...