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Story Of An Hour Analysis

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In Kate Chopin’s Story of an Hour, one of the first things learned about the main character, Mrs. Mallard, is that she suffers from a weak heart. Chopin does not provide a medical condition for Mrs. Mallard, but only that, “[Mrs. Mallard] was afflicted with a heart troubleвЂ¦Ð²Ð‚Ñœ

With Mrs. Mallard’s heart condition in mind, the news of the death of her husband is hesitantly given to her with surgical care by her sister Josephina. Mrs. Mallard’s husband, Brently was reported to have been killed in an accident while working in a train yard by his friend Richards. Unlike the reaction of sadness that most women would have to the news of their husband’s death, Mrs. Mallard is overcome with a feeling of emptiness and retreats to her room. Mrs. Mallard sits in a chair facing the window and begins to reflect. This chair and window would become a type of threshold for Mrs. Mallard, allowing her to move on in her life.

Out of the dark sky comes one of the most important pieces of information in the story. Mrs. Mallard feels overcome by a force and in a way, almost possessed. She can’t help but whisper the words, “Free, free, free!” At first, Chopin does not clearly explain why a woman who lost her husband is uncontrollably whispering free repetitively, but soon after, she makes it clear. While pondering over how her life has been spent over the past several years, Mrs. Mallard learns that she is no longer held back by a life of servitude.

She begins to imagine how the remainder of her life will be spent, now that she only has herself to care for. She “Opened and spread her arms out to [the years] welcoming them.” As Mrs. Mallard looks out into the dark spring night with a dull stare, her sister attempts to rescue her from what appears to be a depressed state, but Mrs. Mallard refuses to unlock her bedroom door. Mrs. Mallard realizes that there will be no one to “Impose a powerful will upon a fellow creature” anymore. Mrs. Mallard had a moment of “illumination” and her life seemed to brighten a little.

Although there were

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