The story that has been taken under consideration goes by the name of “The Story of an Hour”, which has been written by the very famous author Kate Chopin. The story is about what takes place within an hour in the life of Mrs. Mallard. Mrs. Mallard according to the author has heart trouble, and the story begins with her sister Josephine and her husband’s friend Richard, who come to her to tell her about the death of her husband Mr. Mallard who has apparently died in a railroad disaster. The basic concern of Josephine and Richard is that Mrs. Mallard is a heart patient and they need to be extra careful while telling her the news as it can upset her health.
After much trouble, Josephine tells Mrs. Mallard about the sad news. Her reactions are rather sudden, and she eventually decides to lock herself up in her room. She bursts into tears and stares out of a window, with tears flowing from her eyes. She watches the birds singing and the trees standing tall with new life in them. This view suddenly makes Mrs. Mallard realize a major fact of her new life as a widow. She realizes that she is free from the bounds of her marital duties, she can do all that she wants to without having anyone to order her around.
This thought at first makes her feel a little guilty, but she accepts it somehow. She starts whispering, “Free, free, free!” to herself to assure herself of this new found liberty. To makes the world feel like she is shocked by this event, she decides to shed tears at the funeral, even know there would be nothing but happiness in her life in years to come. She believes that she loved her husband, but only at times, while at other times she did not feel anything for him, but she believes that the only thing that mattered now was that she was independent. Worried about her sister, Josephine bangs on her door, but Mrs. Mallard asks her to go away. She keeps wondering how she lived a pessimistic life, but all that would take place in her life would be her desires. After a long time, Mrs. Mallard steps out with her sister and goes down, where they find Mr. Richards staring at Mr. Brently Mallard opening the front door. Mr. Mallard did not die, there was a confusion and he was nowhere near the accident. Upon seeing him, Mrs. Mallard drops dead and later on the doctors say her death was the result of “joy that kills.” They believe she could not withstand the happiness of her husband’s safety and died.
The Story of an Hour presents to us, the readers, the story of a young married girl, who feel imprisoned by her husband, the society which has chained her down to follow a particular path of life. People would expect her to cry, sob and wail upon the death of her husband, but on the other hand she realizes that this death has brought happiness to her life. She is so happy upon this realization that she feels no pain about the loss of her husband; all that matters is that she will regain her happiness and independence as she keeps saying, “Free! Body and soul free!”. This happiness takes over her like a mania, which shatters when she sees her husband standing alive in front of her and she basically dies of shock when she realizes that her happiness was momentary, but she was believed to had died “of heart disease – of joy that kills.”.
In the story we find that Mrs. Mallard was never happy with her marriage, her husband never treated her right, typically because women in the 19th century were not given much rights. Her husband’s death comes as good news to her, but seeing him alive is the basic twist in the entire plot which kills her happiness and takes away her life as well (Chopin, p.1-32).
The story, “The Story of an Hour”, which was written by Kate Chopin tells us how imprisoned women in the 19th century were, to the point that the death of their husband’s was good news to them as it liberated them and gave them freedom. Mrs. Mallard gained this happiness and lost it within an hour, as a result of which she died.
Chopin, Kate. The Story of an Hour. Tale Blazers. United States of America.