Analysis Of Women Rights Issue In Short Story “the Story Of An Hour” By Kate Chopin

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Chapter 1


1.1 Background of the Study

Literature is often described as the body of writing that exists because of inherent imaginative and artistic qualities. Literary works convey awareness to the readers about moral values in life. As a creative work, literature is also a container for conveying and accommodating ideas, theories, and systems of human thought. Therefore, literature is able to bring wonderful works of the human minds or other people become a literary work which can be presented. Literary works are form or medium of writing from the author to express their mind such as drama, poetry, and prose. Literary works consist of some essential values in the social life in general. Literary works representation of society and relate with other aspects such as law, economy, politics, and so on.

Short story is a part of prose, as a product of literary works which are reflected as a real life of a certain society, it uses human as the main character. According to Kennedy (1991), “A short story is more than just a sequence of happenings, A finely wrought short story has the richness and conciseness of an excellent lyric poem”. It means that a short story has an intrinsic and extrinsic element. Intrinsic element is the basic element to build the story of the literary works; it has some aspects such as point of view, plot, character, setting, and the others. Meanwhile, the extrinsic element is the element in outside of the work of material art which affects to the building of the works; aspects can be brought from the subjective view as history, condition, society, and others by the author to create the works.

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Attaining equality between women and men and eliminating all forms of discrimination against women are fundamental human rights. Women around the world nevertheless regularly suffer violations of their human rights throughout their lives, and realizing women’s human rights has not always been a priority. Achieving equality between women and men requires a comprehensive understanding of the ways in which women experience discrimination and are denied equality so as to develop appropriate strategies to eliminate such discrimination. In the early nineteenth century there was a movement from women to increase women dignity, which claimed for the equality of rights between women and men.

The issue that often encountered is women rights in 19th century. In the late 19th century most of American society held to deep-seated that women were inferior to and should remain dependent upon husbands and other male figures. Any employment available to the offered wages significantly less than what men earned, and women were expected to conduct their lives according to their husbands’ wishes. Most women had a little or no financial other independence as they were essentially passed from their fathers to their husband’s upon marriage.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The statement of problem to be analyzed are formulated as follow.

  1. How does a woman rights to lives with equality of justice and freedom?
  2. What is the condition of gender inequality between men and women?

1.3 Scope and Limitations

The scope of this study is literature that focuses on analyze of the women right’s literary criticism issues of the characterization in The Story of an Hour short story. To make sure the study more focused, the topics are limited only in the analysis of women rights issue in 19th.

1.4 Goals of the Study

  1. To explain the form of gender justice and freedom for woman in female figures in short story “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin.
  2. To describe a gender inequality between men and women in society based on short story.

1.5 Functions of the Study

The functions of the study are:

  1. To give more explanation about theoretical aspects in the study of women’s rights issue in feminism.
  2. To deepen the writer’s knowledge and for students in college who are interested in analyzing Literary Criticism, especially about women’s rights in every century.
  3. To give an explanation for students in Pamulang University to understanding how a woman in 19th century took their rights.

1.6 Systematical Presentation

This study is divided into three chapters there are:

The first chapter is an introduction that consists of background of the study, statements of the problem, scope and limitations, goals of the study, function of the study, and systematical presentation. Background of the study reveals the reasons why the writer chooses the study. Statements of the problem consists of problems which are analyzed. Then, scope and limitations to analyze for the research.

The second chapter elaborates three sub-chapters. They are related studies, review of literature and theoretical framework. Related studies concern on the studies which have been conducted by some other students whose similarity with this study. Review literature contains several references as the guidance to choose the theory for the analysis. Theoretical framework elaborates three major theories which will be used for this research.

The third chapter is research methodology. It consists of approach of the study, data sources, data collection and data analysis which contest about the method that applied, how to get and collect data. This chapter provides information about what kind of techniques in data collection and how to analyze the data source. In data collection, the step of collecting data is explained. To give description about how the collected the data, and the way of presenting and analyzing data is explained in the method of the data analysis.

Chapter II

Related Studies, Review Of Literatures, And Theoritical Framework

2.1 Related Studies

There are some college students who have the same related topics to compare with the writer’s study.

The first study was done by Ali Jafar (2014) from English Department Islamic Universities Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta entitled Women’s Struggle Against Discrimination of Gender Sexuality as Portrayed in The Genesis and Al-Mujaladah. In this study describes about the issues of gender and sexuality in the field of religion. Then the writer found two sacred texts in the Genesis. Genesis is one of the books in Bible, it is colonial sacred texts in Judaism and Christianity (Jews-Christ). The writer also uses comparative literature to analyze. Comparative literature is a study cross cultural text. These texts are able to be analyzed from different perspective of study likes its moral values, character and characterization and conflict. In this thesis the writer focused on the conflict, it talks about women’s struggle against discrimination of gender and sexuality.

The second study is Zulfah Nurhanni (2014) from State Islamic Universities Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta entitled Women’s Role as a Mother and Working Woman as Seen in Main Character in The Film “Don’t Know She Does It”. In this study she is using qualitative descriptive method and library research. The writer hopes that this literary research can give some significant information about characterization and stereotype of women as a mother and working woman.

The third study is Ika Puspitasari (2017) from State Islamic University Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta entitled Liberal Feminism Values of the Main Character In Suffragette Film. In this study the writer using qualitative research and descriptive analytical method to explain and described how the film reflects the feminism values through the character viewed from feminist theory to analyze. This study the writer analyzes the main character because the main character in this film, struggles to destroy the patriarchal system and fight to get right to vote for women.

2.2 Review of Literature

2.2.1 Short story

Short story is a brief fictional prose narrative or a piece of fiction which has a smaller number of words than a novel. According to Kennedy (1991), “Short story, a form more realistic than tale and modern origin, the writer usually presents the main events in greater fullness”. It means than the short story has a more tangible form in describing an event rather than other form of writing because in creating a literary work the author can reflect it from real life which later developed into a masterpiece.

This kind of literary works is usually concerned with a single effect conveyed in only one or a few significant episodes or scenes and usually plays with only a few characters. Usually, the genres of short stories come from real life which has a lot of myths, or fairy tales that emerge in society. According to Summers (1948) states that “The short story contains an interpretation of the writer’s conception of life, either by direct statement or by implication”. It means that short stories made from the author’s imagination are reflected as real life orally and indirectly become real or decent, then made into a form known as short fiction.

Generally, most intrinsic elements of short story are similar with the other literary works, but a short story usually focuses on one plot, one main character, and one central theme; whereas a novel can tackle multiple plots and themes, with a variety of prominent characters, but the elements are not necessarily used in the same way. Despite it is relatively limited scope and though, a short story is often judged by its ability to provide a “complete” of satisfying treatment of its character and subject.

2.2.2 Feminism

Feminism is a social theory or a kind of women’s emancipation movement, which focuses on the efforts of societies’ awareness onto the suppression and gender injustice upon a woman in societies. Nevertheless, more than a social theory, feminism is a “leader” for both women and men want to change this situation; the enclosing societies that inhabit women rights.

The word of ‘feminism’ itself originated from the French word feminisme in the nineteenth century, either as a medical term to describe the feminization of a male body, or to describe women with masculine traits. It soon became understood to denote a political stance of someone committed to changing the social position of women. All the feminists agree that women suffer social and material inequalities simply because of their biological identity and they are committed to challenging this, but it might be various and many kinds of challenges. All feminists agree that they are the main focus of women’s subordinates, most feminists regard feminism heterogeneity as a sign of health debate, although feminism detractors tend to see it as a sign of feminism inbuilt weakness.

As an interdisciplinary field of study, women’s studies incorporate theoretical insight from several academic disciplines, including anthropology, cultural studies, economics, history, philosophy, politics, psychology, and sociology. In turn, feminist scholarship has made significant contributions to these disciplines. Women’s studies also draw on feminist theories that primarily seek to understand and explain women’s experiences. Therefore, the feminist tried to liberate women from their inferior knowledge. They do their struggles by making women as a field of study, so that gender studies have occurred after occurred before. In relationship to literature, there is a new mainstream, which tries to discover about women in literary work and anything related to women in literary work. This is primary concept of feminism on literary criticism. The study aims to enrich the knowledge about experiences needs, and life of women afterwards the study that makes women as a field of the study that occurred in the literary works is denied as feminist literary criticism.

2.2.3 Women Rights

Nowadays, women enjoy to equal legal access to health care, education, civic participation, and economic justice as a result of generation of advocacy on behalf of women. However, despite gains in gender equality over the past century, women are still victims of harassment, assault and discrimination in the workplace and at home. The term of Women’s Rights encompasses many different areas, making it among the most difficult areas low to define. Women’s rights are most often associated with reproductive rights, sexual and domestic violence, and employment discrimination. But women’s rights also include immigration and refugee matters, child custody, criminal justice, health care, housing, social security and public benefits and so on. Often feminist leaders today focus on areas of intersection between women’s rights and other issue areas and consider these areas of intersection as one larger movement for social justice. American women, if we accept Beecher’s views as the mainstream of nineteenth-century gender norms, dominated religion, morality, and benevolence. They generally exerted their influence through the home, a utopian space that nurtured children and sheltered husbands. Women would create a moral citizenry and a populace imbued with Protestant evangelical beliefs.

2.2.4 Women Rights In 19th Century

The problem of Women position of her duties, responsibilities, rights and immunities as Woman, fitly attracts a large and still-increasing measure of attention from the thinkers of our time, The legislators those who ultimately enact into statutes what the really governing class have originated, matured and gradually commended to the popular comprehension and acceptance, are not as yet much occupied with this problem, who demands that she be allowed a voice in disposing of the money wrenched from her hard earnings by inexorable taxation, or in shaping the laws by which she is ruled, judged, and is liable to be sentenced to prison or to death, It is a woman’s business to obey her husband, keep his home tidy, and nourish and train his children. As household production by women declined and the traditional economic role of women diminished, the “home” appeared as a topic to be discussed and an ideal to be lauded. Less a place of production than a spiritually sanctified retreat from the hurly-burly of economic life, the home was where women nurtured men and children into becoming morally elevated beings. It could be said that what we think of as the traditional “home” was actually an invention of nineteenth-century Americans.

In colonial America, men were considered superior to woman in all ways, even in terms of morality. In a world of strict patriarchal hierarchy, men controlled not only wealth and political power but also how their children were raised, religious questions, and all matters of right and wrong. In the early part of the nineteenth century, however, many Americans experienced a revolution in gender. What we now view as old-fashioned and even oppressive was then new and potentially liberating.

2.3 Theoretical Framework

This chapter contains the relevant theories which are applied as the framework of the study. The theories are about feminism and women’s rights issue. The first theory by Judith Butler (1990).

The second theories about summarized of Feminism by Margaret Fuller (1850) Woman in the Nineteenth Century she explains that literary women, and those who are active and earnest in promoting great intellectual, philanthropic, or religious movements, must of necessity neglect the domestic concerns of life. The writer chooses this theory from Judith Butler about the distinction between sex and gender.

Chapter III

Research Methodology

3.1 Approach of the Study

The writer analyzed woman rights issue from “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin and using qualitative method to conduct this study. It means that the data were taken from the texts and the writer had to read it first, and the data are in the form of word not numeric.

According to Flick (2009:47)

“qualitative research using to analyzing document (text, image, film, or music) or similar traces of experience of individual group. Experience can be related to biographical life, histories, or to (everyday or professional) practice. They may be addressed by analyzing every knowledge, account and stories.”

In addition, Cresswell (2003:18) states that

“A qualitative approach one in which the inquirer often makes knowledge claims based primarily on constructivist perspectives (i.e., the multiple meanings of individual experiences, meanings, socially, and historical constructed, with an intent of developing a theory or pattern) … it also uses strategies of inquiry such as narratives, phenomenologies, … the researcher collects open-ended, emerging data with the primary intent of developing themes from the data”

Based on the definitions above, it can be concluded that qualitative approach is used to analyze document (text, image, film, and music), such as biographical life, and history to discuss data collection and identify data which cannot be measured with number.

3.2 Data Source

The data for this study is Short story entitled “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin. The analysis focuses on feminism issue such as women’s rights in nineteenth century. The short story describe about that Louise or Mrs. Mallard has a heart trouble, when she heard about her husband has been killed by accident, the story tells about a woman on the cusp of true independence in the only way that was truly available to women at the time, through the death of a wealthy husband, leaving the woman with her own fortune and no need to remarry to maintain her position in her life.

The writer also uses some related theory books which are collected from books, internet sources, journal, and another source from e-book to gain more detailed information to support the content of this thesis.

3.3 Technique of Collecting Data

At the initial steps to collect the appropriate data. First, the data was collected through reading “The Story of an Hour” short story intensively and repeatedly. Second, searching for some short stories to find the good one, then read the stories several times to understand the whole story. Third, remarking part of sentences that have possibility and supposedly become a women rights issue in feminism. Fourth, collecting those parts and referred them based on theory.

3.4 Method of Data Analysis

The data that was collected from the text from one short story was classified into the types of women’s rights issue. Then it identified based on the context and classified into several quotations of the text. All of the data was described in the essay forms. The theories that were used in analyzing the data about women’s rights in feminism are from the theory of Margaret Fuller (1850).


  1. Offen Karen (2012). Defining Feminism: A Comparative Historical Approach. Vol.14, No.1 (p. 119-157). Retrieved 01 03,2019.
  2. Adams Michele (2007). Women’s Rights and Wedding Bells, 19th Century Pro-Family Rhetoric and (Re) Enforcement of the Gender Status Quo, Vol 28. No 4. Retrieved 01 03,2019.
  3. Freedman Jane (2001). Concepts in the Social Sciences Feminism, Retrieved 01 03,2019.[/chapters/0335204155.
  4. Butler Judith (1990). Gender Trouble: Feminism and The Subversion of Identity. Retrieved 01 03, 2019.
  5. Bax Belfort.E (2016). The Fraud of Feminism. Retrieved from
  6. Ossoli Fuller. M. (2003). Woman in the Nineteenth Century. Retrieved from


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