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The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin - Essay Example

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The main character in the story, Mrs. Mallard is portrayed with a heart trouble from the beginning of the story which could most…
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The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin
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Full The Story of an Hour Written during a time where women were perceived as homebodies, The Story of an Hour pictures the struggles of married women during that period. The main character in the story, Mrs. Mallard is portrayed with a heart trouble from the beginning of the story which could most definitely be pointing out not only on the physical aspect but of the emotions as well. The heart trouble was not specified nor was it referred to as a disease but simply termed as ‘trouble’ so that the author could most probably have wanted to set the mind of the readers that there was something that was disturbing the heart of the main character. Contrary to most racism and sexism stories, there was no implication of any form of abuse inside the house of the couple but the trouble that was happening was within the thoughts of Mrs. Mallard. She recognized the norms and mores of her time and tried her best to be the wife society expected her to be but her natural desire for the outside world was so strong she desired more of the outside world than her home. This circumstance brought the tragedy in her life, not being contented with a life that seemed to have imprisoned her.
During Mrs. Mallard’s solitude, it was mentioned that she loved her husband sometimes but often did not, for whatever reason, the author chose for the reader to think about. However, the very following sentence explains that the self-assertion she finally possessed was the strongest impulse of her being, even stronger than the love she felt for her husband. One could almost imagine the husband to be a loving man and probably that was what made Mrs. Mallard love him. However, living in a society that could affect even the events inside the home, Brently Mallard could have been the type who lived according to the suggestions of his environment so that he had to keep his wife inside the house and make the expected homebody wife out of her. Unfortunately, the wife was not the common type of woman who would be satisfied staying in the house all day long.
The whispered words of Mrs. Mallard, “Free! Body and soul, free!” that she kept repeating exposed the perception of the woman of herself. That she had been kept as a prisoner in the house, is what made her want to escape and take the freedom that she always desired. Physically, her being kept in the house could have had a tremendous effect on her way of thinking, considering herself more of a prisoner than a wife who needs to attend to the necessities of housekeeping. However, the line “There would be no powerful will bending hers” gives a glimpse to what could have really been happening inside the marriage. As supposed earlier, the husband had to impose things on his wife as he was expected by society to do. This brought the conflict to the couple where one was weak enough to go against what was imposed by their environment while the other was struggling to go against such impositions. The story ends in an ironic turn where the husband who was expected to have died, comes home to witness the wife who savored her freedom for the last hour, thinking she will finally be free, with her husband dead. Read More
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