The Story of an Hour

Gender roldes have changed drastically throughout the decades.  Females have gained a lot more freedom: voting and the right to get paid as equal as a male.  Freedom is something that cannot or should not be bought, but not many have.  There are other wats to escape from what our world’s reality is.  Every individual has their own point of view on whether something, in fact, is a type of freedom or liberty.

In Kate Chopin’s short story, “The Story of and Hour,” Mrs. Mallard, who suffers from a heart condition, finds out that her husband was killed in an accident.  “It was [her husband’s friend Richards] who had been in the newspaper office when intelligence of the railroad disaster was received, with Brently Mallard’s name leading the list of ‘killed,'” (Chopin para…2).  When Mrs. Malllard first received the news of her  husband’s passing, she was in shock, but after it had all sunk in, it was hinted, at the reader, that she was actually happy because she had had a miserable marriage.

Death was an escape for her through out the story once she was informed about her husband.  “There were patches of blue sky showing here and there through the clouds that had met and piled one above the other in the west facing her window,” (Chopin para…6).  The feeling of having the advantage to start a new life was starting to settle in, creating a positive mind set that allowed her to see the good on such a gloomy day.  The thought of being able to depart from her marriage, allowed her to calm down.  “‘Free!  Body and soul free!'” (Chopin para…14).

Mr. Mallard comes home towards the end of the story, and Mrs. Mallard new beginning was ended within a matter of seconds.  The shift in her emotions were so drastic, that she passed away.  “When the doctors came the said she had died of heart disease–of the joy that kills” (Chopin para…20).  Death is known as the stage in the circle of life, that you can finally rest.  Mrs. Mallard had escaped marriage for a few minutes, and was stripped from the happiness.  She had mentally prepared herself to start over; seeing her husband enslaved her quickly, which allowed herself to free herself from the world.

Whether it was her or her husband’s time to go, one or the other had to depart in order for freedom take place.

2 thoughts on “The Story of an Hour

  1. This is a great point! I feel that Mrs. Mallard really did love her husband, but even though she had this great love for him she still feels that her life has been taken away to serve this other person. I think she was looking forward to seeing what her life would be like without him and not having to feel guilty about it. However I don’t think that she got her freedom through death, I believe that her death was just the result of her extreme change in emotions putting a great deal of stress on her weak heart. Her idea of freedom was more about life after her husband rather than life after death.

  2. At the end of your post, you come to the question posed, whether Mrs. Mallard found freedom in death even if not in life. You offer an interesting perspective, namely that one or the other in the marriage had to die for her to have freedom. How do you respond to your respondent, who offers a different interpretation, that freedom would only be possible if she had survived?

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