Essay about the story of an hour

by Kate Chopin
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  2. Intro and Body paragraph for The Story of an Hour Essay
  3. 'The Story of an Hour' Meaning Essay Sample
  4. The Story of an Hour Reflection

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Mallard is actually imagining the happiness of the years ahead. In fact, only the day before she had feared living a long life. Triumphantly, she answers the door and goes downstairs with her arm around Josephine's waist, where Richards awaits.


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At this moment, Brently Mallard comes in the front door, having been nowhere near the train disaster. Richards moves in front of him to hide him from seeing his wife when she cries out. By the time the doctors arrive, she has died from "heart disease," purportedly from "the joy that kills. Chopin tackles complex issues involved in the interplay of female independence, love, and marriage through her brief but effective characterization of the supposedly widowed Louise Mallard in her last hour of life.

After discovering that her husband has died in a train accident, Mrs. Mallard faces conflicting emotions of grief at her husband's death and exultation at the prospects for freedom in the remainder of her life. The latter emotion eventually takes precedence in her thoughts. As with many successful short stories, however, the story does not end peacefully at this point but instead creates a climactic twist. The reversal--the revelation that her husband did not die after all-- shatters Louise's vision of her new life and ironically creates a tragic ending out of what initially appeared to be a fortuitous turn of events.

As a result, it is Mr. Mallard who is free of Mrs.

Mallard, although we do not learn whether the same interplay of conflicting emotions occurs for him. Chopin presents Mrs.

Intro and Body paragraph for The Story of an Hour Essay

Mallard as a sympathetic character with strength and insight. As Louise understands the world, to lose her strongest familial tie is not a great loss so much as an opportunity to move beyond the "blind persistence" of the bondage of personal relationships. In particular, American wives in the late nineteenth century were legally bound to their husbands' power and status, but because widows did not bear the responsibility of finding or following a husband, they gained more legal recognition and often had more control over their lives.

Although Chopin does not specifically cite the contemporary second-class situation of women in the text, Mrs. Mallard's exclamations of "Free! Beyond the question of female independence, Louise seems to suggest that although Brently Mallard has always treated their relationship with the best of intentions, any human connection with such an effect of permanence and intensity, despite its advantages, must also be a limiting factor in some respects. Even Louise's physical description seems to hint at her personality, as Chopin associates her youthful countenance with her potential for the future while mentioning lines that "bespoke repression and even a certain strength.

'The Story of an Hour' Meaning Essay Sample

Mallard's characterization is complicated by the fleeting nature of her grief over her husband, as it might indicate excessive egotism or shameless self-absorption. Nevertheless, Chopin does much to divert us from interpreting the story in this manner, and indeed Mrs. Mallard's conversion to temporary euphoria may simply suggest that the human need for independence can exceed even love and marriage.


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  • Notably, Louise Mallard reaches her conclusions with the suggestive aid of the environment, the imagery of which symbolically associates Louise's private awakening with the beginning of life in the spring season. Ironically, in one sense, she does not choose her new understanding but instead receives it from her surroundings, "creeping out of the sky. To unify the story under a central theme, Chopin both begins and ends with a statement about Louise Mallard's heart trouble, which turns out to have both a physical and a mental component.

    In the first paragraph of "The Story of an Hour," Chopin uses the term "heart trouble" primarily in a medical sense, but over the course of the story, Mrs. Mallard's presumed frailty seems to be largely a result of psychological repression rather than truly physiological factors. The story concludes by attributing Mrs. Mallard's death to heart disease, where heart disease is "the joy that kills. Essay Topic Generator. Thesis Generator.


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    • Story of an Hour Thesis Statements and Important Quotes.
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    • Applied science. The story takes place in the late s, and at the residence of Louise Mallard. Though the precise location is never revealed, the views of women and the prevalence of railroads suggest that the story occurred in the late nineteenth century. Mallard learning from her sister that her husband died during a railroad disaster.

      The Story of an Hour Reflection

      Not knowing how to handle the news, Mrs. After Mrs. Mallard had some time to herself, Josephine went to check on her. As they descended the stairs together, the front door opened and Brently entered the house. The conflict in the story is the confusion that Mrs. Mallard feels after learning that her husband has died.

      The Story of an Hour Multimedia Essay

      Like a proper wife, Mrs. Mallard spends a few minutes in mourning, upset by the unexpected departure of her husband. She waited for the impact of his death to fully hit her. Instead, she felt relief at the thought that she was now free from marriage.