Kate Chopin’s short story titled “The Story of an Hour” shows us in a number ways that life without freedom is no life at all. In the story, a nineteenth century women named Mrs. Mallard finds out about her husband’s death. She has heart disease so Josephine, Mrs. Mallard’s sister, tries to break the bad news to her as calmly as possible. After hearing the news, Mrs. Mallard’s unpredictable reaction shocks us the readers as well as the characters in the story. Instead of feeling the sorrow of her husband’s death, she feels the joy of freedom from him as well. Freedom is something that we as humans take for granted, and this story shows the importance of it through Mrs. Mallard’s eyes.
What is freedom? Is it being able to say what you want when you want? Is it the ability to worship any god and bear arms? In today’s time, that may be how we define freedom. In the late 1800’s, however, things were different. During this time, a woman’s job was to obey her husband, cook for her family, clean the house, and take care of her children. Women did not know what freedom was or how it felt because they had never experienced it before. This is the reason why Mrs. Mallard does not know how to feel when she finds out about her husband’s death. This point is further proven when Chopin writes “She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister's arms. When the storm of grief had spent itself she went away to her room alone. She would have no one follow her” (Chopin 443). This quotation eloquently depicts Mrs. Mallard’s reaction to her husband’s death that most of us would expect. She cries holding nothing back, and can not fully grasp what she has just been told. However, she quickly composes herself and walks into th...
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...out her husband, but her emotions throughout the story show that she is happy her freedom is given to her. Mrs. Mallard was just taking in her new life that was beginning and she was exclaiming to herself that she was finally free from her husband. We have never been put in the situation she is in so it is harder to understand the importance of freedom.
We take our freedom today for granted when we should cherish every moment we have with it. Things in life come and go, but the one constant in our lives is our freedom. Until we have that freedom ripped away from us like Mrs. Mallard did, we will never know the true value of it and wont cherish it the way we should.
Chopin, Kate. “The Story of an Hour.” Literature a World of Writing: Stories, Poems,
Plays, and Essays. Ed. David L. Pike and Ana M. Acosta. Boston: Longman,
2011. 442-443. Print.
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