Story of an Hour by Lawrence L. Berkove Essay
SOURCE: Berkove, Lawrence L. “Fatal Self-Assertion in Kate Chopin's ‘The Story of an Hour.’” American Literary Realism 32, no. 2 (winter 2000): 152-58.
[In the following essay, Berkove contends that Chopin's narration of “The Story of an Hour” is ironic rather than straightforward.]
Kate Chopin's thousand-word short story, “The Story of an Hour,” has understandably become a favorite selection for collections of short stories as well as for anthologies of American literature. Few other stories say so much in so few words. There has been, moreover, virtual critical agreement on what the story says: its heroine dies, ironically and tragically, just as she has been freed from a constricting …show more content…
It is obvious that there is quite a discrepancy between the way Louise and Brently Mallard feel about each other, but all the mystery of the difference is on Louise's side.
Whatever her original reason had been for marrying Brently, it is clear now that feeling the way she does about him she would be better off not being married. Her love for herself—“she would live only for herself”—does not leave room for anyone else. How, then, would she live?
Her justification for preferring to live for herself, the