How many thoughts and feelings can go through someone’smind in an hour? In the case of Mrs.
Mallard, enough to grief, feel and imaginea new life that was going to possess her. Her husband dies, and although shegriefs him, she imagines herself in another life that she would get to makedecisions for herself. In another word, be an independent woman. Even with aheart condition, Louise imagined herself a life as a free woman, the news ofher husband passing away did not kill her, which tells the reader that marriageis not always what it seems. In “The Story of an Hour”, By Kate Chopin, Mrs.Mallard finds freedom in her life, but this joy of independence is soon takenaway by unexpected news that would ironically destroy her. In thestory of an hour, the author talks about independence and freedom as aforbidden pleasure that could only be in the minds of the women of that time.
Mrs. Mallard went into her room alone and she saw this thing coming for her,”She was beginning to recognize this thing that was approaching to possess her,and she was striving to beat it back with her will-as powerless as her twowhite slender hands would have been” (10), yet she tried to push it back. Butwhat was this thing? Freedom.
She realizes it when she says “free, free, free!(11), she felt good after she admitted what it was, and she was ready for it.The reader could tell from this point that she was free from her marriage, andthat she would get to enjoy a life as a free independent woman. But the ironyin the story strikes back, she had a heart condition since the beginning of thestory, living by herself would be hard since she would need someone to betaking care of her.
That didn’t stop her from consuming this taste of a newlife, “Free, body and soul free!” (16) a life that she was excited about, andshe was ready to begin living it. But after finding out her husband wasn’t deadafter all; this taste of a new life kills her. Marriageis not always what it seems to be.
The author describes in the story throughthe characters that marriage is not what it seems. Louise was happy with herhusband, “And yet she had loved him- sometimes. Often she had not.” (15) butshe was restricted by it in a lot of ways. Back in that time the husband wouldgo to work, and the wife would stay home doing all the shores and that’s how amarriage would go. The reader would think that after her husband dies, Louisewas going to spend days and days crying and grieving him, or maybe somethingworse would’ve happened, because of her heart condition. But this wasn’t thecase, “She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with aparalyzed inability to accept its significance” (3) she cried, but she stoppedherself and after the “storm of grief” (3) passed, she went into her roomalone. From here on, the reader would guess that she was going to cry and cryin her room and imagined how she was going to live without her husband, butinstead she finds herself in a new life.
Through her window she finds this newjoy that would give her was she was missing during all those years of marriage.The lesson taught by the author is that even if a marriage is happy, it robspeople of their independence. Theirony in the “Story of an Hour” has a great impact in the reader’s expectation.
There’s a lot of irony throughout the whole story, but death is one of the mainones. Finding out that someone hasn’t died “It was Brently Mallard who entered,a little travel-stained, composedly caring his gripsack and umbrella” (21) canbe almost as deadly too. The reader can infer from the beginning of the storythat someone was going to die, at the beginning it says that her husband dies,but it also says that Louise had heart problems, “Knowing that Mrs. Mallard wasafflicted with a heart trouble” (1) which tells the reader something willhappen. The irony of death itself impacts the readers at the end of the story,when her husband isn’t dead after all, and Louise dies from the “joy thatkills” (22). One can infer that it’s ok for her husband to come back to life,but for her to die from what her sister and her friend were trying to save herfrom isn’t. But here is shown how the irony changes the plot of the story, Mrs.Mallard dies just when she is beginning to live.
Communicationis a big deal in “The Story of an hour”. How you tell someone what happened isalmost as important as what actually happened. Richard, her husband friendtries to break down the news for Louise in a way that would not kill her. Hegets ahead of the telegrams that were sent “He had only taken the time toassure himself of its truth by a second telegram, and had hastened to forestallany less careful, less tender friend in bearing the sad message” (2) and hetells Louise about what happened with her sister in the room, so they wouldthere for her in case something happened. News can be lethal in this story,because it could’ve killed Louise “She wept at once, with sudden, wildabandonment” (3) after hearing that her husband passed away. The surprise atthe end of the story that her husband isn’t dead after all is deadlier thanwhat happened at the beginning, something the reader was not expecting.
Therefore, news must be told carefully. Otherwise, the character may end updead. Timingis not to say, the biggest crux in the story of an hour.
From what the reader caninfer, life can change drastically in under an hour. Louise spends that hour processingall the news that her husband passed away but then she went into her room alone”When the storm of grief had spent itself she went into her room alone. (3). Butin under one hour, she imagines a new life with a future she was excited about.But in the matter of a few minutes after that, she dies because of her husband suddenappearance, “she had died of a heart disease”(22).
From thisstory, the author tells the reader that marriage is complicated. It’s beautiful,but it must be taken seriously. The moral behind the story is to understand howpriceless freedom is and the power it holds. Louise was a prisoner of her own lifetill her husband passed away, but this joy of a new life is taken away when herhusband unexpected return is unfolded, and she ends up dead.
Ultimately, a lot ofthings can go through someone’s mind in an hour, and a lot of things can happentoo.