Central Idea of The Story of the Hour by Kate Chopin

Subject: Literature
Pages: 1
Words: 381
Reading time:
2 min
Study level: College

In The Story of the Hour by Kate Chopin, the main character, Mrs. Mallard, is a married woman with heart disease. Her husband is leaving, and the news comes that he died on a terrible trip. Her sister tells the information to her, and quietly, Mrs. Mallard rejoices. It turns out that she is not happily married, and the thought of freedom from her marriage gives her joy.

In The Story of the Hour, the reader discovers that Mrs. Mallard has heart problems, so when her husband dies, her family has to be especially careful to report her husband’s death; that he was killed in a train accident. At first, she is in shock and wants to be entirely alone for realizing her loss. As soon as Louise is alone, she notices something that she has not seen for a long time: she witnesses the beauty of nature outside her window. After this, she begins to feel optimistic about life. She starts thinking about all the good times she will have now when her husband dies. Louise whispers to herself: “Free! Soul and body are free!” (Chopin. 1984). Brantley Mallard opens the door and walks into her house. She tells her the news and says that there was a mistake and that his husband was not on the train.

Then Louise dies from the riots, and suddenly it is assumed that she died from the “joy that kills” people there, suggesting that she was so happy to see her husband alive that she died of shock. Louise was not a free woman, and she felt useless. She will always do as he said; she should “live for” her husband, not for herself. Thus, the book’s main idea is that the woman was under the domestic power of her husband. She wanted more freedom and life for her own sake.

In conclusion, this work describes the incredible happiness of a woman, which lasted only one hour. The story ended suddenly and quite sadly, with the death of the main character of the work. Nevertheless, despite many complex and emotional aspects, everyone should read this work. It will teach readers to value their lives and show that they should not waste them and be with those people with whom a person is unhappy.


Chopin, K. (1894). The story of an hour. Vogue.