Free at Last
“The Story of An Hour”, is a short story written by Kate Chopin. This story represents a negative view of marriage by presenting readers with a woman, that is honestly overjoyed by her husband’s death. The main character in the story is a young woman named Mrs. Mallard, who was diagnosed with a heart condition. Mrs. Mallard had a sister named Josephine, who was very careful when she broke the news to Mrs. Mallard about her husband’s death, fearing that the news may affect her heart. As the story unfolds; it is an emotional rollercoaster. The story deals with real issues such as life, death, freedom and marriage. This story suggests that Mrs. Mallard was definitely in an unhappy and/or an abusive marriage. I think that Mrs. ...view middle of the document...
Mrs. Mallard is obviously enthusiastic over her husband’s death but is very careful not to show this feeling. Just as Mrs. Mallard comes to terms with her husband’s death, he enters the room unharmed, and everyone is surprised. The reappearance of Mr. Mallard gives Mrs. Mallard such a shock that she dies “of joy that kills”. In a sense, joy did kill her because of her husband’s sudden appearance. The doctor believed that Mrs. Mallard died from the shock of her husband’s appearance; who was believed to be dead.
I believe that what actually killed her, was the fact that her joy had been robbed. Mrs. Mallard’s feeling of freedom was far too much for her to return to the controlled life that she experienced with her husband. The sudden tragic death of Mrs. Mallard shocked everyone; for they thought she would be overjoyed upon seeing that her husband was not dead. Apparently, there are some things far worse than death for Mrs. Mallard; it was seeing that her husband was definitely alive. Death may not always result in grief.
“The Story of an Hour” contains many symbols. The spring day symbolizes a new life, which was symbolic of Mrs. Mallard’s new freedom. Spring is the time of year where new things come to life. Another symbol is the window that was open in the room she isolated herself in. The window symbolizes a very clear passage between her current life, and her new life without Mr. Mallard. I believe that this story is also intended to suggest that women are expected to live up to society’s standards. In the late 1800’s, when the story was written, men were made out to be superior, and women were expected to obey them no matter what. This fact is what causes Mrs. Mallard to feel the way she does about Mr. Mallard’s death.