In "Story of an Hour" the characterization of men, while not directly overbearing or abusive is that of confining to Mrs. Mallard. Her reaction to the news of her husband's passing is met with the expected "storm of grief". Quickly Chopin directs the reader to the view outside of Mrs. Mallard's window "aquiver with spring life", queuing the feelings that would inhibit Mrs. Mallard as she dealt with the news of losing her husband. As spring is a rebirth to nature, Mrs. Mallard's inability to adequately articulate the feels that began to fill her, demonstrate a feeling of freedom that she had yet to experience in her life. The language Chopin uses to describe Mrs. Mallard's actions after her realization are deliberate and strong displaying decisiveness and a solid idea of Independence, looking ahead to the future. When Chopin does write directly of man and woman relations she does so in universal terms and doesn't tether it to Mr and Mrs. Mallard's relationship. "There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature.” Chopin leaves her words open as to not single out a particular sex as dominating with their will, but rather speaking about the nature of people in general. Mrs. Mallard's untimely death at the end of the story is abrupt and open, leaving the reader to wonder which event directly caused her death, as both the realization that her husband was in fact alive and that her newly acquired sense of freedom had been forced to receed back to where it had laid dormant during life; took place at the same time. Chopin's description of a "joy that kills." is ambiguous in its reference to what that joy exactly was.
In "Madame Célestin's Divorce" Chopin displays a series of encounters between Madame Célestin and Lawyer Paxton. Chopin portrays Célestin as talkative and naive, falling for the unfulfilled promises of her estranged husband. Throughout the story Lawyer Paxton pushes for Madame Célestin to go through with a divorce. Madame Célestin is shown as independent, with her husband providing no support and being absent for months. She is also shown as headstrong after numerous discussions with various characters that are never directly show in the story, but their sentiments are conveyed through conversations with Lawyer Paxton and Madame Célestin. Chopin uses these unseen conversations as characterizations of opinions of divorce within a community. However through these discussions Madame Célestin remains set upon divorcing Mr. Célestin. Lawyer Paxton's ambitions and reasoning behind his pushing of Madame Célestin's divorce are unveiled throughout the course of the short story. Chopin finally reveals the true sentiments and his desire to marry, with his eyes set upon Madame Célestin. Immediately after the exposure of Lawyer Paxton's intentions to the reader, Madame Célestin breaks the news to him that Mr. Célestin has returned and has issued more promises, to which Madame Célestin decides to change her mind. Throughout the story Madame Célestin's intentions and feelings are only displayed through her conversations with Lawyer Paxton, as the reader is not privy to the exchanges held with other members, however Chopin explores Lawyer Paxton's character much