Story Of An Hour Theme

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“The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin is a tightly written short story that takes place within a single hour of Mrs. Louise Mallard’s seemingly unsatisfying and oppressive marriage. Although the story is no more than two pages long, one should not look down upon the shortness of the story, but instead read in amazement at how packed such a small piece of literature is. Reading through it once may stumble the reader and seem a bit confusing, but reading through it several more times will enlighten the reader to underlying messages, themes, and the true feelings of Mrs. Mallard. The major theme the story revolves around is the oppressive views of marriage that the main character, Mrs. Mallard, experiences within the latter part of the 19 century, …show more content…
Mallard and her feelings. For instance, when Richards and Josephine brief Mrs. Mallard about the death of her husband, “she wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment in her sister’s arms” (Chopin 476) and then proceeds upstairs after “the storm of grief spent itself” (Chopin 476) while refusing the aid of her sister. Certainly, it seems to Josephine that her sister is so heartbroken and grief-stricken about her husband’s death that she must be alone to contemplate the situation at hand and collect herself. Instead, one will realize that Mrs. Mallard is, instead, the opposite of the grief-stricken and depressed Victorian housewife, but is truly retreating upstairs to comprehend and cherish her newly found freedom from marriage. Furthermore, in the later part of the story, Josephine begs "Louise, open the door! You will make yourself ill” (Chopin 477). Although Josephine is not aware of “this thing” (Chopin 477) that has just approached her sister, making for Mrs. Mallard to have “keen and bright eyes” which made “her pulses beat fast” and “warmed and relaxed every inch of her body” (477), it is now clear to the reader that Mrs. Mallard feels a sense freedom, joy, and excitement in the death of her husband as she drinks “in …show more content…
Not much is known about the time period of “The Story of an Hour”, but one can speculate that it is set within the latter part of the 19 century. Throughout the whole story, it takes place within a single hour of Mrs. Mallard’s life, and the setting is within the Mallard home. With that, there could be a slight correlation between the setting and what Mrs. Mallard feels about her marriage; confined, trapped, caged in, enclosed. The only time the reader is able to see the outside world is when Mrs. Mallard retreats to her room and stares out an open window in which she can see “the open square before her house” and hear the sounds of “a peddler crying his wares” and “a distant song” that filled her ears (476). One only knows what the location is by what Mrs. Mallard hears, feels, sees, but much of the location is not

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