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The Struggle Against Society

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The Struggle Against Society

In a gender based society, stereotypes can determine a woman's freedom. It can also define how society is run and what limits a person can achieve. In the story The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin, Louise Mallard learns about gender roles causing oppressions through the news of her dead husband. Her perception of these struggles for freedom causes her to realize that there is freedom and new opportunities without gender diversity. Using literary devices characterization and symbols, Kate Chopin argues that gender roles create a barrier in which prevents an individual to have a taste of freedom. Kate Chopin first introduces her argument about gender roles creating a barrier thus preventing an individual in experiencing freedom through the use of characterization. Upon learning the news about her dead husband, Louise Mallard fled to her room with obvious grief, as many widows would have done. However, unlike other typical widows, she "breathed a quick prayer that life might be long. It was only yesterday [Louise] had thought with a shudder that life might be long," [Chopin, on page 122]. In this quote, Louise shows readers on how she felt about her life before and after her husband's death through the use of direct characterization. Before her husband's death, Louise had had a "shudder" about life proceeding. The "shudder" allow readers to infer that Louise had envisioned a life before her husband's death as bleak an dismal years of dreaded oppression. But after her husband's death, she is now free and her life is actually worth living. Louise doesn't dread life with her newfound freedom; she welcomes the years eagerly as she "breathed a quick prayer that life might be long." The comparison between the two quotes show how Louise was trapped before and had thought miserably that life might be long. Afterwards, she prays and begs for the fact that life could be longer so she could enjoy her freedom. Chopin uses this particular quote to show how Louise is trapped by gender roles. Kate Chopin proves with characterization that gender roles create a barrier in which an individual can't escape. Kate Chopin then uses another example to strengthen her point about gender roles creating a barrier in which an individual can't escape to freedom with the use of characterization. After crying with grief about her dead husband, Louise realizes that she "knew that [Louise] would weep again when [Louise] saw the kind, tender hands folded in death; the face that never looked save with love upon [Louise], fixed and gray and dead. But [Louise] saw beyond that bitter moment a long procession of years to come that would belong to [Louise] absolutely" [Chopin, on page 122]. From this quote, Chopin demonstrates the use of direct characterization. Louise cries with sadness for Brently Mallard, her husband. However, the crying and weeping is associated with her life as a wife before her husband's death. When she realizes that she is a free woman now, she "looked beyond that bitter moment" as a widow to see long glorious years of happy freedom. Chopin uses this specific quote to show that because Louise was able to see past her husband's death and look at the freedom and happiness,

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