"The Story of an Hour" is a short story in which Kate Chopin, the author, presents
an often unheard of view of marriage. Published in the late eighteen hundreds, the
oppressive nature of marriage in "The Story of an Hour" may well be a reflection of,
though not exclusive to, that era. Mrs. Louise Mallard, Chopin's main character,
experiences the exhilaration of freedom rather than the desolation of loneliness after she
learns of her husband's death. Later, when Mrs. Mallard learns that her husband, Brently,
still lives, she know that all hope of freedom is gone. The crushing disappointment kills
Though Chopin relates Mrs. Mallard's story, she does not do so in first person.
Chopin reveals the story through a narrator's voice. The narrator is not simply an
observer, however. The narrator knows, for example, that Mrs. Mallard, for the most
part, did not love her husband (paragraph 15). It is obvious that the narrator knows
more than can be physically observed. Chopin, however, never tells the reader what Mrs.
Mallard is feeling. Instead, the reader must look into Mrs. Mallard's actions and words in
order to understand what Mrs. Mallard feels.
Mrs. Mallard is held back in her marriage. The lines of her face "bespoke repression"
(paragraph 8). When Mrs. Mallard learns of her husband's death, she knows that there
will "be no powerful will bending her" (paragraph 14). There will be no husband who
believes he has the "right to impose a private will upon a fellow creature" (paragraph 14).
Mrs. Mallard acknowledges that her husband loved her....
... middle of paper ...
life. When Brently walks in the door, though, Mrs. Mallard knows that she will have to
spend the rest of her life as no more than his wife, just as she had been. She knows that
she will never be free. This is too much for Mrs. Mallard to handle. Life had been grim
before, with her looking forward to the years ahead "with a shudder" (paragraph 19).
Now that Mrs. Mallard has tasted what life might have been like without her husband, the
idea of resuming her former life is unbearably grim. When Mrs. Mallard sees that her
husband still lives, she dies, killed by the disappointment of losing everything she so
recently thought she had gained.
Chopin, Kate. "The Story of an Hour." The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Paul Lauter, et al. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. Lexington: Heath, 1994. 644-46.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Anyone who receives notice of a loved ones death is never expected to take it lightly. In Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour,” Mrs. Mallard is informed of her husbands “death” as gently as possible, and immediately she understands the enormous significance this loss will have on her life. Unlike many widow’s, her feelings of utter devastation do not last. Mrs. Mallard’s sobs of loss turn to cries of joy after she reflects upon her own character and discovers truths about her marriage. As any woman would, Mrs.... [tags: Kate Chopin, Story of an Hour, death, grief]
711 words (2 pages)
- Freedom in Kate Chopin's The Story of An Hour In Kate Chopin's "The Story of An Hour" the theme is found within the concept of how someone can be trapped in a repressive, unsatisfying reality because of another's thoughtless oppression and manipulation. When combined with the contemporary society's beliefs --- presumably the later half of the 19th century for this story -- a further understanding of Chopin's thoughts and feelings can be realized. Mrs. Louise Mallard, the victim and messenger of this story, is the representation of such a person.... [tags: Chopin Story of An Hour Essays]
1076 words (3.1 pages)
- Kate Chopin was an American feminist fiction writer and a woman ahead of her time. She lived in the socially conservative nineteenth-century, but in her stories, she wrote about unconventional characters, particularly women, that caused others to question her morality. Similar to the female characters in her stories, Kate Chopin was an independent woman. She would often smoke cigarettes or walk in the streets unaccompanied; these practices were considered unusual for a nineteenth-century woman to do ("Katherine Chopin").... [tags: Kate Chopin Works Author]
1661 words (4.7 pages)
- Short Story Analysis “The Story of the Hour” by Kate Chopin portrays an opposing perspective of marriage by presenting the reader with a woman who is somewhat untroubled by her husbands death. The main character, Mrs. Louise Mallard encounters the sense of freedom rather than sorrow after she got knowledge of her husbands death. After she learns that her husband, Brently, is still alive, it caused her to have a heart attack and die. Even though “The Story of the Hour” was published in the eighteen hundreds, the views of marriage in the story could coincide with this era as well.... [tags: short story analysis]
538 words (1.5 pages)
- A Roller Coaster of Emotions in A Story of An Hour In the short story “A Story of An Hour” by Kate Chopin, the whole range of emotions are felt by the main charter Louise Mallard. Upon learning of her husband's death she is immediately overcome by sadness. However, once she is alone she allows herself to experience her feelings of joy at the prospect of being free from “repression." She is no more able to staff off the feeling that was approaching her than trying to stop the waves from hitting the shore.... [tags: Story Hour essays]
479 words (1.4 pages)
- Bliss and Miss Brill by Katherine Mansfield and Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin On studying the texts Bliss and Miss Brill by Katherine Mansfield and Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin I have associated all the stories with a sense of female repression. All the short stories feature a main female character and this character is being repressed in various ways such as by another character or their lives in general. In all the stories the awareness of repression appears towards the end mainly due to an event that has taken place.... [tags: Story of an Hour, Miss Brill Essays]
1231 words (3.5 pages)
- “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin had a hidden story behind it, since reading it before I’ve been able to catch things I hadn’t before. I found taking a look at another reader’s perspective along with reading about the emotions, which another reader had caught on to. The purpose of this piece it to analyze the literary piece “The Story of an Hour” along with taking a look at other peoples analysis. While reading “The Story of an Hour” the literary terms that I found very fitting with the piece were dialogue along with tone.... [tags: Kate Chopin, story review]
599 words (1.7 pages)
- 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. During her mingled exaltation and grief, it occurred to her that “[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” (189).... [tags: essays research papers fc]
547 words (1.6 pages)
- In her narrative, “The Story of An Hour”, Kate Chopin tells the story of a wife as she deals with her husband’s sudden death. The beginning of the story starts by stating Mrs. Mallard has a heart condition, and ends with her death, which is ironically due to the heart condition. Chopin allows open interpretation by not giving much detail about the marriage life of The Mallards. From my personal interpretation of the reading, I conclude that Louise gains freedom and release with the news of her husband’s death.... [tags: heart, freedom, husband]
656 words (1.9 pages)
- The Growth of Edna in The Awakening In Kate Chopin's novel The Awakening, Edna Pontellier is forced to strive to fit in with everyone and everything around her. Born and raised in Kentucky, Edna is used to the Southern society, but when she marries Leonce Pontellier, a Catholic and a Creole, and moves to Louisiana with him, her surroundings change a great deal. This makes her feel extremely uncomfortable and confused; she feels as though she has lost her identity along with a great deal of her happiness.... [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]
648 words (1.9 pages)