The Story of An Hour

Good Essays
Kate Chopin describes a story of great irony. The story greatly shows how women were repressed in the past. Women were not treated equally to men, and they had less freedom, rights, and power. Freedom is a basic human need people thrive on it, it is so important to human beings regardless of what country, religion, cultural you live in. Kate Chopin introduced Mrs. Mallard, a young woman who finds out her husband has died in a train wreck. She reacts with sadness at first, but then realizes in a rush of emotion & relief that she is “Free! Body and soul free!”(199) She views the world with a fresh outlook--one where she will be her own person, answering only to herself. She is ready to begin this new life when her husband--who evidently wasn’t on the train after all--comes home. The woman (Mrs. Mallard) eventually died of shock because she had lost her newfound freedom. The ending of the story portrays the society in which women had less freedom than men.

According to the beginning of the story as Kate Chopin wrote “Knowing that Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with heart trouble” (197), the stereotype is that women were supposed to be weak, timid and hysterical. And this also foreshadows the ending which Mrs. Mallard died because she had a weak heart. At the beginning of the story Mrs. Mallard reacted with sadness when she first heard the news from her husband’s friend Richards. “She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister’s arm” (197). However, she changed her mind when she came to her own room. She started to feel free, “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.” (198)She thought she ...

... middle of paper ...

...!”(199). Most Victorian women wouldn’t react the way she did at that time. Her sister thought she was going to make herself ill, but instead of feeling sadness. She felt like a “goddess of Victory” (199) and “drinking in a very elixir of life though that open window” (199).

The story tells us that how important freedom is, and how hard it was to get freedom for a woman in the past. As we know the character Mrs. Mallard finally enjoyed how joyful it was to have freedom and viewed the world with a fresh outlook, but suddenly all of her dreams broke up, and this caused her death. She actually died of shock when she saw that her husband wasn’t dead after all, and all her new freedom was not to be. She would be referred to the prison of her life as a Victorian wife. The ending greatly satirized that not all women wanted to be dominated by their husband and society.
Get Access