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story of an hour

In "The story of an Hour," Kate Chopin reveals the complex character, Mrs. Mallard, In a most unusual manner. THe reader is led to believe that her husband has been killed in a railway accident. The other characters in the story are worried about how to break the news to her; they know whe suffers from a heart condition, and they fear for her health. On the surface, the story appears to be about how Mrs. Mallard deals with the news of the death of her husband. On a deeper level, however, the story is about the feeling of intense joy that Mrs. Mallard experiences when she realizes that she is free from the influences of her husband and the consequences of finding out that her new-found freedom is not to be. At First, Mrs. Mallard seems to be genuinely affected by her grief: "She wept ar once, with sudden, wild abandonment....When the storm of grief had spent itself she went away to her room alone. SHe would have no one follow her"(14). At this point in the story, the reader is able to look into the mind of Mrs. Mallard; she now noticed, as she looked from her window, "the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the distant song"(15). She noticed the "there were patches of blue sky showing here and there through the clouds"(15). The other characters in the story have one impression of Mrs. Mallard; she seems to have reacted to the terrible news as one would expect, but the reader is aware that a distinct change has come over her. The story unviels its theme at this point: Mrs. Mallard, for the first time in her life, experiences a new-found freedom. Instead of dreading the future without her husband, "she saw beyond that bitter moment a long procession of years to come that would belong to her absolutely"(15. She could now live her life and be absolutely free of the imposing will of her husband: There would be no one to live for her during the coming years; she would live for herself. There would be now powerful will bend...

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story of an hour. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 19:33, August 22, 2014, from