June 2, 2003
Woman Who Lives and Dies in an Hour
"The Story of an Hour," is a short story written by Kate Chopin openly reveals a woman's true feelings who ended up trapping herself in a marriage. In the 1890's, women were shackled to their husbands and the only means of breaking free from those constrictive bonds was through the death of their husbands. Mrs. Mallard plays a character that has to deal with very serious emotions. Her emotional state goes from one end of the spectrum to the other in only an hour. Her experience of independence began when she was gently informed of her husband's death in a train accident. Mrs. Mallard was left with emotions of freedom, fear of society, and suppression.
The moment Mrs. Mallard heard about Mr. Mallard's death, she automatically fell into a state of grievance. Weeping "with sudden, wild abandonment..."
(Chopin 11), Mrs. Mallard allows her emotions over her husband's death to flow freely. Looking outside a window, "patches of blue sky showing here and there through the clouds" (11) shows that nature tried to convince Mrs. Mallard that this is the beginning of something better. While she sat in the rocking chair, Mrs. Mallard finally accepted being independent and having to live for herself and not for others.
In the 1980s, society views women stereotypically as wives whose job is to dedicate their lives to their husbands, just as Mrs. Mallard did all the years in her marriage. Society would be appalled to be knowledgeable about a marriage that stifles a woman to the point that she celebrates the death of her kind and loving husband. Mrs. Mallard's new independence is evident in the use of her first name instead of using her husband's name. As...