In Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” allows one to explore many ironic instances throughout the story, the main one in which a woman unpredictably feels free after her husband’s assumed death. Chopin uses Mrs. Mallard’s bizarre story to illustrate the struggles of reaching personal freedom and trying to be true to yourself to reach self-assertion while being a part of something else, like a marriage. In “The Story of an Hour” the main character, Mrs. Mallard, celebrates the death of her husband, yet Chopin uses several ironic situations and certain symbols to criticize the behavior of Mrs. Mallard during the time of her “loving” husband’s assumed death.
Freedom and The Story Of An Hour When I first read Kate Chopin's "The Story Of An Hour", my instinctual response was to sympathize with the character of Mrs. Mallard. This seemed to me to have been intended by the author because the story follows her emotional path from the original shock upon hearing of her husband's supposed death to her gradual acceptance of the joy she feels in anticipating her new freedom to the irony of her own sudden death. However, one fact cannot be overlooked when judging my personal reaction to this piece. Because this story's theme is basically an issue of what a woman has the right to expect from her life, the fact that I am a woman living in a society where freedom and independence are valued above all else weighs heavily on the way I look upon the actions of Mrs. Mallard and also on the way I judge Chopin's message.
In Kate Chopin’s short story “The Story of An Hour” Mrs. Mallard, the protagonist, is illustrated as a suffering and oppressed woman. The narrator physically describes Mrs. Mallard as being “…young, with a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression and even a certain strength.” (Chopin 205) and is also “…afflicted with a heart trouble.” (Chopin 205). Throughout the short story Mrs. Mallard proceeds to come to terms with the termination of her conflict over her husband’s oppressiveness, Mrs. Mallard’s thoughts regarding her new found freedom, and the internal actions that lead that led her to take her freedom.
Kate Chopin is able to illuminate her stories with clever language and meaning. As well as an immense criticism as to how society oppresses the individual in the glorified institution of marriage. Through language, she is able to introduce the thought of deeper meanings. “The Story of an Hour” being a prime example of the individual that has a need for freedom for herself. Through symbolism and straightforward comments, the freedom that Mrs. Louisa Mallard is notable just as her marriage is oppressive.
In her book, The Faces of Eve, Judith Fryer writes, "In the last year of the nineteenth century a woman succeeded where men had failed: Kate Chopin created . . . a woman who is a person." Chopin’s short story, "The Story of an Hour," openly portrays the true feelings of a woman who feels trapped inside her marriage. In the period in which she lived, there were only two alternatives for her to achieve the much desired personal freedom—either she or her husband must die!
This is a critical analyzation of the short fiction, “The Story of an Hour” in a Feminist approach. “The Story of an Hour” was written by Kate Chopin. Kate Chopin wrote and published this short story in the year of 1894. I chose to analyze “The Story of an Hour” in a Feminist approach because after reading this story, I came to the conclusion that this is the perfect fiction story that shows what women had to go through back in the early nineteenth century. Even though Kate Chopin did not write this based off of a true story, it still symbolizes and shows the struggles, and the way women in families were looked upon in their home, and even out in public.
In Kate Chopin’s short story, “The Story of an Hour”, the author shows us the response of a young woman to her husband’s presumed death. Before the news, the widow, Mrs. Mallard, felt trapped in a situation she found to be inescapable. Her marriage made her feel as though her will wasn’t really her own, that she wasn’t really free. However, when the news of her husband’s death reaches her, she finally begins to feel that she has a chance to be free.
Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” is about young a woman who is addressed by her married name, Mrs. Mallard, whose husband befalls a tragic death. Instead of being sad and full of despair for the rest of her young life she feels a very strong sense of relief because in all honesty she never liked the idea of not having free will in her marriage. As she sits in her room and thinks about her situation she only feels relieved, almost happy that her husband died because now she can live her life. However just when her life seemed to be going in a very positive direction Mr. Mallard turns up at the house, very much alive. Seeing her husband alive causes her such distress that she has a heart attack and dies immediately. The irony in this situation with the use of many distinct symbols, help establish the theme of the inherent oppressiveness of marriage.
Discovering Freedom in Kate Chopin’s The Story of an Hour As humans, we live our life within the boundaries of our belief systems and moral guidelines. Yet, one unexpected event can suddenly knock us out of our comfort zone and thrust us into a completely different arena. Such is the case of the central character in Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour.” Louise Mallard, upon hearing the news of her husband’s tragic death then subsequent revelation of its fallacy, finds herself quickly moving from grief, through a sense of newfound freedom, and finally into the despair of the loss of that freedom.
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.