Essay on An Analysis of “the Story of an Hour”

1257 Words Nov 3rd, 2011 6 Pages
Stephens 1

John Stephens

Professor Freeland

Eng 101

7 January 2009

An Analysis of “The Story of an Hour”

Written in 1894, “The Story of an Hour” is a story of a woman who, through the erroneously reported death of her husband, experienced true freedom and happiness. Both tragic and ironic, the story deals with the boundaries imposed on women by society in the nineteenth century. The author Kate Chopin, like the character in her story, had first-hand experience with the male-dominated society of that time and had experienced the death of her husband at a young age. The similarity between Kate Chopin and her heroine can only leave us to wonder how much of this story is fiction and how much is personal experience.
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The “comfortable, roomy armchair” was her family life itself. Now we can conclude that in reality Mrs. Mallard wasn’t very happy in her marriage. Her life was like a duty – the duty to be married. And then, when she realized that her husband was dead, her initial grief turned to the extreme happiness. She felt free. She felt free from a “gray cloud” over her head that covered the sunshine from her. It’s clear that the shadow over her head was her husband’s domination.

In addition, Mrs. Mallard’s happiness was caused by the vision of a new future. Louise felt that she didn’t have any other life than marriage, but now she had an opportunity to begin to live in a different way. When she collapsed into the chair, at first, she felt deep grief, then, she experienced the fatigue from everything around her; at last, she realized that she is free. “She said it over and over under the breath: ‘Free, free, free!’” (395).

Subsequently, after accepting this new feeling, Louise began to feel comfortable with the idea of living by herself, and “Her pulses beat fast, and the coursing blood warmed and relaxed every inch of her body” (395). Louise realized that happiness filled her, no matter that this feeling followed a bad event. Of course, she had not forgotten about her deceased husband. She remembered how loving he was to her and how she would miss him, but she also thought about the years of

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