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The Story of an Hour

Happiness in Marriage: “The Story of an Hour” Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” offers the reader many different themes and ideas to explore yet the one that stands out the most involves true happiness in marriage. In Chopin’s piece Mrs. Mallard, the main character, receives news that she has lost her husband in a railroad accident. At first she reacts as most people would when receiving this sort of news, she begins weeping in the arms of her sister and begins to fall apart. Soon there after, she retires to her bedroom to spend some time alone. While in her room she continues crying then a sudden sense comes over her. Without knowing exactly what it was Mrs. Mallard felt as though something was coming to her. She felt a sense of fear and excitement both at the same time then realized what it was. She began whispering the words “ ‘free, free, free;’ ” (pg. 15). That was it; she was now free of everything. It was not that she had not loved her husband or cared for him, but she was relieved to be rid of him. She was free. Mrs. Mallard was now as joyful as ever realizing what she could do with the rest of her life. She now had no one to live for and no one living for her. She was completely on her own and more excited than ever. Unfortunately for Mrs. Mallard her joy was interrupted by a knock at the door. Her sister had gone to get her to try to help console her. Mrs. Mallard and her sister returned down stairs and suddenly in through the door walked Mr. Mallard as unexpectedly as ever. It turned out he had not been in the accident in the first place. Mrs. Mallard was so startled that she had a heart attack and died right there on the spot. “When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease-of joy that kills.”(pg. 16) Everyone present assumed that Mrs. Mallard’s death was caused by her excitement and utter joy with the return of her husband. As the reader, and knowing th...

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The Story of an Hour. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 05:24, August 23, 2014, from