In the short story, “The Story of an Hour,” Americanwriter Kate Chopin grants the complex character of Mrs. Louis Mallard. Mallardis a unhappy woman confined in her miserable relationship.
The story of an houris expressed in a moment, an hour of Mallard’s life. She is incapable ofdisengaging herself from her marriage. Thus, she tolerates it instead. The newsof a supposed death of her husband arises as an immeasurable break to her for ashort moment, and she experiences the delights of enlightened life from hersuppressed marriage with Mr. Mallard. Chopin illustrates how Louise came tocomprehend the breakdowns of her life and how she visualizes her future beforeeverything turns catastrophic at the end of the story. Mrs.
Mallard wasnot truthful towards her sister Josephine and her husband’s friend Richard, whohas given her a great deal of concern. This is distinctive because bothJosephine and Richard take a lot of caution into breaking the news to Mallardabout her husband’s death. They presume that she has an abundance of lovetowards Mr. Mallard and learning of his death would amplify her heart conditionand lead to her death. However, they didn’t know that Mrs. Mallard did not lovehim profoundly and in fact optimistically took the news.
This can be seen whenshe bursts into her room, and her attention changes significantly from that ofher husband’s death to nature. In the text, it states, “she would have noone follow her” could symbolize the start of her acceptance that “shewould live for herself.” She wanted to be on her own and allow herfeelings to react freely to the news of her the death of her husband.
While herinitial reaction to the news is one of mourning, Louise is increasingly awareof her freedom. Mallard was undergoing a powerful sense of freedom, “Free!Body and soul free!.” Her confined happiness broke through when herhusband died. Therefore, showing the symbol of her new life and theopportunities anticipating her. Her eyes focus on the patches of blue skyrepresenting the ending of her storm, her smell and ears become attentive tocertain places and items in nature. All representing in a very representationallanguage of her distinct moment of taking in pleasures of freedom andexperience of enlightened life.
Her struggles took the form of words: “free,free, free!” (Chopin 288). Thus, displaying that she was facing life after thedeath of her husband. Once she realizes her husband is alive, Mallard’s pastlove and desire for life are overturned.
This news strikes with such power thatit takes her life. Thus, it makes it probable that her feeble heart just couldnot tolerate what undeniably was for her, the most disastrous news. “She says aprayer that her life might belong to enjoy all the seasons in her life.
“(Chopin 289). After having suffered a brief moment of what it was like to befree from a disturbed life, Mallard could not think about breathing anothermoment of the contained life that she has had with her husband. However, there is a component of hardship to her death;one could also comprehend her death as an end to her subdued life.
EverythingMallard did not accomplish in her life; she did in her death. She is nowunrestricted and no more women to the oppressive will of her husband. On thecontrary, she decides on a way out that was easy.
She did not put up a fight tothe domination directed towards her. “Whose lines bespoke repression, even acertain strength” (Chopin 288). Her bravery, if she had any, was restricted toher being able to vision herself in a different future, experience the excitingsecond of being free. As an alternative to mourning in the company of Josephineand Richard, she chose to be by herself and savour her consciousness of being free. For the most part, Mrs. Mallard seems to have surrenderedto the play by play role of a wife that was well-defined by the culture andsettlements of her time. She could not gather enough nerve to fight back; thedominating role of her husband; or the culture rules that authorized certainnorms of behaviour or male characters for husband and wife. She has a victimapproach waiting for a chance to grant itself rather than carrying about analteration so she could experience the pleasures of independence.
Thisdemonstrates that she understood this was her purpose in life and chose to livethrough it. She is the flawless supporting example of stereotypical roles ofwomen or wives who have a victim outlook and accept the situations as they are.It is only because some women dared to take a stand against such oppressiveculture and oppressive people that women in modern times find more choices tolive a life of liberty and freedom. If she had acted in bravery, being more self-confident ininputting her true emotions with her sister or attaining other sources for helpin order to address her contained relationship, she would not have to feelaggrieved being with her husband. “It was only yesterday she had thought with ashudder that life might be long” (Chopin 289). Her purpose for life would nothave to mean for her husband to die.
In conclusion, her lack of courage,strength, and power to approach her subdued life made her look at life anddeath in an unconventional prospect. When in reality there is no obligation todie to encounter freedom while she could have experienced a full life with herhusband by her side.