"The Story of an hour" by Kate Chopin show the readers the meanings of life and death

Essay by chim0bay February 2004

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"Free, free, free""Free! Body and soul free!", Mrs. Mallard keeps whispering . The death of her husband brings her the exhilaration of freedom rather than the desolation of loneliness. However, in its turn, Mrs. Mallard's death also puts an end to her short hope of freedom. Two deaths in Kate Chopin's "The story of an hour" seem to have some meaning to readers.

As "The story of an hour" opens, Kate Chopin uses the death of Mr. Mallard to show the reader Mrs. Mallard's deepest feelings. At first Mrs. Mallard is saddened and shocked by the news, " she wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment". Instead of feeling grief as expected, Mrs. Mallard feels released from bondage of marriage. For the first time, she no longer sees a world of restrictions but a world of color and brightness: " the trees were all aquiver with the new spring life.

The delicious breath of rain was in the air... There were patches of blue sky showing here and there...". For the first time, she realizes that she is now free from body to soul. Her body comes alive again with "her pulse beats faster; her blood runs warmer; her eyes brighten". For the first time, Mrs. Mallard sees the chance to live out the rest of her days for herself and the opportunity to be her own person. The death of her husband is really the rivival to her soul as well as a brand new beginning for her.

How ironic it is when someone's tragic death becomes other's ultimate freedom. Similarly, Mr.Mallard's coming back; seemed to be a happy news to his wife, after all puts an end to both her beautiful dream and her miserable life. To other people's eye, "Mrs.