The Story Of An Hour

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The number of marriages that end in divorce in America is one out of every five; the number of marriages that end in death is about eight hundred thousand per year. Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” is the tale of a married woman who finds herself on an emotional rollercoaster after learning that her husband was killed in a train accident, only to have him walk through the door within the hour. At first, she mourns the loss of her husband. However, as she realizes the breadth of the freedom she now possesses, this sadness soon transforms into joy, and she emerges from her upstairs bedroom a changed woman. Then, when her husband unexpectedly walks through the front door, she is all at once overcome with a sense of grief, and she collapses on the foyer floor, unable to bear the thought of returning to her marriage. Chopin, a controversial author, explores the negative side of the construct of marriage. Maintaining one’s independence can, in fact, strengthen a marriage, by promoting equality within the marriage, bolstering one’s …show more content…

Mallard, like anyone in a dependent relationship, felt trapped. Particularly in nineteenth-century America, when it was seen as a person’s social calling to find a spouse and settle down rather early in life, many of those people (especially women) did not have lives outside their own, and would have been shunned if they divorced broke away from the social norm. Even Chopin, as cavalier as she was for her time, couldn’t resist the compulsion to marry young, at twenty years of age, and settle down. The last line of “The Story of an Hour”, “When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease – of joy that kills” (Chopin 3) highlights this point with the poignant use of irony. Mrs. Mallard did not die from the “joy that kills”, the bliss of seeing her husband once again, as society would have mandated. Instead she died from her unwillingness to return to the day-to-day drudgery of living as the lesser half of one married

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how kate chopin's "the story of an hour" explores the negative side of the construct of marriage.
  • Analyzes how romeo and juliet want to bond themselves in marriage, but the idea of not being together drives them to suicide, and mrs. mallard feels hopeless within her marriage.
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