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The Story of an Hour - Essay Example

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Louise Mallard, the protagonist, in Kate Chopin’s short story “The Story of an Hour,” faces a similar situation. Having lived…
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The Story of an Hour
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Download file to see previous pages She recollects her married life, the good and the bad experiences of it! She screams, “Free, free, free.” This is, however, no indication that she does not love her husband. But the inevitable has happened. The death of her husband is a reality and he is gone for ever, never to return! She decides to live a new life and is willing to accept the changed patterns. She is quite emotional, comes down the stairs, only to see her husband return alive, hale and hearty. She is greatly shocked and suffers a heart attack that ends her life.
An element of suspense is the hallmark of the plot of the story. The reader never expects that Mallard’s husband will return alive, whereas she had readied to charter her life in the absence of her husband. The plot is so constructed, the author leaves it to the judgment of the reader whether she is happy or not in her married life. When, the husband returns alive, she is not ready to face the situation, this shock is too strong for her, as is the shock when the news of the accidental death of her husband is revealed to her.
The story pertains to the late 19th century, when male-dominated society prevailed. The life of a woman was confined to the four walls of the house, cook, bear and rear children. Women had no right to vote in the general elections. They were hired for menial jobs on payment on a lower scale as compared to men. Mallad’s husband dominated her. “Chopin deals with the issues of female self-discovery and identity in this story. After Mrs. Mallard learns of her husbands death, she is initially overcome with grief. But quickly she begins to feel a previously unknown sense of freedom and relief.” (The Story….)The new-found awakening startles her—is it good or bad? Is it morally correct? She is possessed with her feelings. She is inclined to abandon her former self in search of the new identity her destiny has thrust upon her. After the brief spell of excitement, she regains her composure. She is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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