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The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

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Most people desire absolute personal freedom, which is why “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin is an interesting story to analyze in the sense of marital boredom, what it means, and how it affects relationships. In many ways, marriage is a rollercoaster, providing ups and downs, purity and disagreements. Although rollercoasters are exciting and unpredictable, they end quite quickly; if you repeatedly ride the same rollercoaster the ride becomes boring. Are there ways to prevent that besides the obvious resolution to get off of the said rollercoaster? Chopin’s short story of a lady named Mrs. Mallord whom has become bored in her marriage and grieves only for a short time of her husband’s death and then becomes enlightened by the independence in her loss, represents the humane desire for solitude and freedom. This desire can lead to marital boredom, which can be defined in many ways. The short story demonstrates a typical marriage where two partners are bored in their relationships, but remain married out of respect and love for each other. Although marriages often last, boredom within every marriage/ relationship is inevitable. Chopin’s story implies that long-lasting marriages lack excitement and interest, because marital boredom is inevitable.

Boredom within marriage is becoming more of an issue as individuals are becoming exceedingly boring. This is a basic idea that sounds too simple when phrased this way, but the concept is actually complex. Although the previous statement is easy to understand, not many people notice or acknowledge the fact that humans are blissfully ignorant in many ways. The reasoning for the deterioration of happy and genuine marriage can be resolved with common sense. As humans become lazy, less knowledgable, and more confined into society’s hypothetical ideal persona, they, in turn, become less interesting to others; this is simple knowledge really. The definition of “boredom” is highly important in order to understand this argument as it might be interpreted in many different ways. Although every word has multiple definitions and meanings, there is usually one that is most accurate for a particular context. According to Cheryl Harasymchuk and Beverly Fehr’s study, “A Prototype Analysis of Relational Boredom”, there are two ways of interpreting boredom relating to marriage. One conception of boredom could be reoccurrence and a fixed every day routine. Habitual boredom is common in life as well as in relationships. The authors of this analysis also propose that, on the other hand, boredom could very likely be “the perception of a situation that is inadequately stimulating” (628). In fact, it is highly understood today that the reason for apathy is related to humans’ instinctive perceptions.

If boredom is caused solely from habitual behavior then the determination is that the issue could be resolved quite simply. Mrs. Mallord could candidly leave Mr. Mallord and this would solve everything; her boredom would be released. Although this idea might sound logical, love itself is not necessarily logical. Love causes humans to react and behave in various chaotic ways, i.e. Mrs. Mallord instantly grieves once she discovers her husband’s death although quickly recovers by finding freedom in her loss. It is possible for marriages to last wholly because of love; people stay with each other because they love each other, which is frankly a very selfless thing to do. Without selflessness, people leave each other despite how much they love, because they are bored and in need of newness. Too many marriages are being endured out of settlement. People lower their standards when they find an acceptable significant other. As Richard W. Bargdill informs in “A phenomenological investigation of being bored with life”, “analysis indicated that habitual boredom developed as the participants became emotionally ambivalent after having compromised life-projects, goals, or dreams”. Humans often fear being alone, so settling for something, or in this case, some one is almost natural. Bargdill also reports of participants felling “stuck” and as if their future is “blocked” (494). Getting into a relationship/marriage that one is not accurately satisfied in will



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