Shock And Emotions In Kate Chopin's The Story Of An Hour

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“The Story of an Hour” written in 1894 by Kate Chopin, is a short story focused on Louise Mallard’s reaction when she is informed that her husband has passed as a result of a train accident. As expected, she initially expresses shock and grief. She locks herself away in her room and soon after her feelings evolve and begin to overwhelm her. Ironically, as the story continues, the tone shifts and there are indications that Mrs. Mallard has other feelings, that at face value would be considered inappropriate. Also, it is clear that the strength of her feelings is so great that when she finds out her husband is actually alive, it jolts her and as a result, she dies of shock. Effectively, Chopin conveys the reason behind her actions and emotions …show more content…
Louise Mallard depicts with her actions, she finally feels free from the chains that once held her down. That due to Mrs.Mallard’s current setting, she was more than likely forced into marriage without a say in the matter about how she lives her life. “ ‘Free! Body and soul free!’ she kept whispering.” Even though she is aware of her freedom, she continues to feel oppressed enough to hide her newly found emotions. This is understood because she says she’s free yet she doesn’t proclaim it in front of her sister and her husband’s friend. She conceals her feelings knowing if she did not, she would be made an outcast. The way she responds in private, shows how different the times were in that self-expression was not encouraged for women. It becomes clear that during the 19th century, being forced to stay within a loveless marriage was the only option, since death was the only separation or key to freedom for most. Chopin makes clear Mrs. Mallard’s situation when she considers that she will express sadness again for “...the face that had never looked save with love upon her…” Though she admits to herself, she did feel love for him at times, she began to feel a stronger love for herself and this was the love she was now allowed to honor, but only with this extreme …show more content…
The shift in tone shows the reader all the kinds of emotions she has harbored as well as the suddenness and the large amount of strength, like that of a tidal wave, that they manifest. She does not, at first, understand the source nor what exactly she was feeling. The feelings were so foreign to her due to the amount of years she had oppressed them. Chopin illustrates, where the emotions came over her suddenly, before she is able to recognize them, with the sentences. “She did not stop to ask if it were or were not a monstrous joy that held her. A clear and exalted perception enabled her to dismiss the suggestion as trivial.” Mrs. Mallard could not deny the strength of happiness and hope she was experiencing. Later, along with acknowledgement of her feelings in general, she also admitted she did feel love for her husband. Even though, she could not escape that her mind was active with thoughts of her future without him. As Chopin illustrates, “She was drinking in a very elixir of

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