The Story of an Hour, By Kate Chopin
“The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin, is about a woman ironically feeling joy rather than sorrow after hearing the news of her husband’s death. The main character, Louise Mallard, retreats to her bedroom after hearing the news, and this is where the majority of the story takes place. The peak of irony usage in the story is when Louise falls to her own death after seeing her husband’s revival in the end.
This story takes place sometime during the early twentieth century. Brently Mallard works for the railroad industry, so a likely time frame is in the mid to late twentieth century when many men worked for the railroads. Another clue about the time frame is the names of the characters in the story. The time of year is the beginning of
spring; "she could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life. " All the while that Louise is reacting internally to the news, she is also taking notice of the outside world from her window: "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. The narrator does describe an armchair in the bedroom as being comfortable, roomy, and facing the open window. The sounds outside Louise"tms bedroom after she hears the news of her husband"tms death are vibrant: "In the street below a peddler was crying his wares, the notes of a distant song which someone was singing reached her faintly, and countless sparrows were twittering in the eaves. " This information is disclosed at the beginning of the story so that the reader can not only envision the inside of the Mallard"tms home, but also what the atmosphere is like outside; "she could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life. In the end, Louise ironically dies from the shock of seeing her husband alive. " Comparatively speaking, Louise goes through a roller coaster ride of emotions. The description of their home is nonspecific, probably because the focus of the story is more on what is going on inside Louise"tms mind as she copes with her emotions. The descent from her elation is rapid and it is toward her own death. The Mallard"tms home is a two story house and at the end, Louise and Josephine are descending the stairs. The time of day is either afternoon or evening, because in the end Brently Mallard is arriving home from his day at work. " The story takes place inside of the Mallard"tms home. I liked this particular story because it throws the reader an unexpected curve when Louise begins to feel joy and happiness that her husband has died. She ascends up and up, hoping that life will be long.