Sometimes we all can feel trapped in the day to day monotony of life. In something as simple as an hour that can all change. In The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin a young woman reflects on the information of her husband’s death symbolizing a surprisingly ironic mixture of misery and liberation. The basic idea of this story is the oppression a young woman faces in her marriage. This short but touching story is written about one hour in this young woman’s life, in the last decade of the nineteenth century, where her emotions are far from definite.
Her sister Josephine was careful to tell her sister of the tragic loss of her brother-in-law, since her sister was "afflicted by heart trouble." Upon the first reading of this sentence, readers might infer that Mrs. Mallard suffered from a broken heart and may have even dabbled in extra martial activities, or she may have suffered from a previous heart attack. It is unclear to the reader whether this outburst that Mrs. Mallard experiences is due to grief or joy. Only after reading further into the short story would one understand the importance of Josephine kneeling at the bedroom door requesting admission (paragraph 16). Kate Chopin skillfully places these words at the opening of her story to allow readers to envision Mrs. Mallard as frail.
After coming to terms with the news and actually being happy about having her freedom, her husband walks through the door, the shock causes her to drop dead. In Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” she uses a disturbing scenario to shed light on the way women were trapped in their lives during the turn of the century. In “The Story of an Hour” “The Story of an Hour” is a tragic tale of loss, the loss of a loved one and the loss of freedom which is a key point in this story. Kate Chopin weaves an intricate tale and uses a view point that most people do not when their husband is perceived dead. The thoughts of the freedom that our main character Mrs. Mallard feels as she learns the tragic news is definitely not the emotion that would be expected but for her it truly is release.
Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” grabs its readers from the start and creates an unexpected twist at the end of the short story. Louise Mallard is given the news that her husband has died in a terrible train accident. To her surprise, he arrives home and “did not even know there had been one” (Chopin, 607). Upon the death of Louise who once believes she was a widow only to find that her husband is still alive, the confusion begins. The death of Louise is questioned by many critics as a state of shock, depression, and sadness.
While she was still a young child, her father died in a train accident. Only a few years later her brother died after being captured by Union forces during the Civil War. The loss of all the males in her life, according to Hoffman, led to the intense female relationships she shared with her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. As a young woman, Kate treasured her independence. Late 1860's society was highly critical of her because she walked, unac... ... middle of paper ... ... about the world as she actually saw it.
One critic points out that many of Chopin's stories are characteristic of "independent heroines" and their conjugal relationships (qtd. in Hicks). "The Story of an Hour" and "The Storm" are two of Chopin's feministic short stories that focus on women and their views on marriage. . "The Story of an Hour," published in 1894, highlights woman self-assertion when the protagonist, Louise Mallard, rejoices after hearing of her husband's death.