Kate Chopin was born in 1850 in Missouri and as a result of losing her father while she was still at boarding school, she got to live with her widowed grandmother, great grandmother and mother (Wyatt). The influence of these strong independent women is later seen in her literary work; where she explores feminine independence and expression. Kate Chopin’s mother had to run the family business after her husband’s death and this was to later repeat itself with Kate. Kate’s mother had also been the first woman in St. Louis to pursue and successfully acquire a legal separation from her husband (Wyatt).
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Thus, these three stories show how Kate Chopin felt about society at the time, and were meant to make readers question common practices at that time. The institution of marriage is shown to be oppressive throughout the three stories. The worth of a woman in society is also shown in all the stories to be closely tied to her subjugation to their husbands and men in general. Kate Chopin having lived with independent and strong-minded women after her father’s death may have influenced her mindset which can be inferred from her literary works.
“The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin, pp. 57 – 58.
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