Women In Kate Chapin's A Story Of An Hour

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The short story “A Story of an Hour” was written by Kate Chapin in 1894. In the story, Mrs. Mallard believes that her husband is dead which causes her to experience a multitude of differing emotions. Her husband then walks through the front door causing Mrs. Mallard to die of, “a joy that kills” (17-18). This story was written over 100 years ago, and women were treated very differently then. Women were seen as property rather than as individuals. They did not have the right to vote, they could not go out alone without a chaperone, and they were lucking if they could be anything other than a house wife and stay at home mom. Women belonged to their fathers until they were given away to their husbands. They did not get to make their own decisions …show more content…
Mallard first hears about the death of her husband from her sister Josephine Mrs. Mallard felt despaired and alone; she, “wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment…” (17). This is how anyone would feel after the death of a loved one, sad and alone. Mrs. Mallard had never been on her own because of the time period. The man chosen for her to spend the rest of her life with is gone. She excuses herself to her bedroom so that she can be alone with her emotions. In her room she continues to morn as she, “pressed down by a physical exhaustion that haunted her body and seemed to reach into her soul” (17). Mrs. Mallard need time to taking in the shocking news. While sitting in her bed room Mrs. Mallard is gazing at the window. The world outside of her life is still going, “the open square before the tops of trees … were all aquiver with the new spring life” (17). Although the Mrs. Mallards world has changed, the world around her has not. She continued to “sob” …show more content…
Mallard had an epiphany. Her heart rate increased, “her pulses beat fast, and the coursing blood warmed and relaxed every inch of her body” (18), as she began to whisper to herself “free, free” (17). She is “free” (17). She had a realization that she no longer needs to worry about being a house wife and pleasing her husband. She is now a widow, free to travel the world and be her own person, no questions asked. She is now joyful because of her recognition. Mrs. Mallard Realizes that, “there would be no one to live for… she would be free to live for herself” (18). She loved her husband and her husband loved her most of the time, and she would “weep gain” (18) at his funeral, but she no longer needed to worry about living her life for Mr. Mallard. Mrs. Mallard only needs to worry about herself. Her future is her own to write. Through her husband’s death Mrs. Mallard has found

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