Theme Of Repression In The Story Of An Hour

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During the nineteenth century, the time in which Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” takes place, women are considered inferior to men. Mrs. Louise Mallard, the protagonist, lives in a generation where women are expected to live in the shadows of their husbands. And while Mr. Brentley Mallard is alive, Mrs. Mallard fulfills her designated role in society. However, the supposed death of her husband changes her and makes Mrs. Mallard reflect on her true role in the world. Louise Mallard, in wake of her husband’s death, begins to imagine a life where she is no longer constrained by her husband- a life where she is free from the social restrictions society places on nineteenth century women. The theme of repression to newfound freedom is evident …show more content…
Mallard’s conscious thoughts also reveal her true feelings concerning her husband’s death; it is here, in the most intimate parts of her mind, where Mrs. Louise Mallard reveals her elation at her new freedom. Upon hearing the news of her husband’s death, Louise “Wept… with sudden, wild abandonment…” (Chopin 236). Looking out her bedroom window at the spring day, Mrs. Mallard begins to feel as if something is coming to her (Chopin 236). It is here, looking at the endless, blue sky stretching out before her, where Mrs. Mallard realizes what exactly is coming for her: freedom. Realizing this, Mrs. Mallard, “…Breathed a quick prayer that life might be long. It was only yesterday she had thought with a shudder that life might be long” (Chopin 238). Mrs. Mallard’s feelings towards her husband, as the reality of her newfound freedom settles with her, begin to change. Mrs. Mallard consciously revaluates her feelings and realizes her husband, “Suddenly seems less important than the prospect of her bright future of freedom” (Evans 1). Mrs. Mallard, feeling “Liberated by her husband’s death… becomes even more sensual as she embraces her new freedom of soul” (Evans 1). Ultimately, the removal of Mr. Brentley Mallard from Mrs. Mallard’s life results not only in Louise’s freedom but in joy that “Warmed and relaxed every inch of her body” (Chopin

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