The Joy That Kills

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The Joy That Kills "The Story of an Hour" written in 1894 by Kate Chopin lives up to its name. It is a short story which raised lots of controversy after it was first published. This was because it revolved around a female protagonist who is relieved upon learning that her husband was dead. This raised heated debates in the 1890's. Kate Chopin uses tells her story while employing several motifs. Many centuries later, The Story of an Hour remains relevant for its strong themes and storytelling style. This paper looks at the themes. The theme that comes out most strongly is the joy that one lacks when one is denied independence. In the story, independence is portrayed as a pleasure that is forbidden . As such, it should only be imagined by anyone only when they are alone. When Louise hears of her husband's death, she is immediately hit with grief. Her reaction is what is expected, though it may be less painful than for other women. When Louise is alone, she starts realizing that with her husband's death, she now has her independence. This realization excites her and even makes her think of life without him. Since it is forbidden to get joy out of somebody's death, she tries to suppress the joy. This shows that this freedom is forbidden. Finally she accepts the joy, feels overwhelmed by it and feels she has to let herself free to the feeling. Society will never understand the joy that Louise feels and will never accept it. Once Louise has tasted the freedom, she wants to live longer to enjoy it more. She even starts being prayerful. This feeling is spoiled by the return Brently. Her new found freedom is yanked immediately. Since she has tasted the freedom, the feeling is enough to kill her. The other strong motive that comes out in The Story of an Hour is the oppression women face in marriage. Choplin is of the
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