|Type of paper:||Literature review|
|Categories:||Kate Chopin The Story of An Hour|
The Story of "an Hour by Kate Chopin," is a classic narrative that captures the reader's attention with suspense wanting to know what becomes of Mrs. Mallard. It shows the plight of many women in marriages and of the unspoken bondage they persevere. The story starts with a critical perspective on how they were gentle in relaying the message to her thinking it would kill her. Her reaction to the news as the author points out "She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance. She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister's arms." Her reaction was different; she wept immediately almost as if in a hurry to get over it and move on. Her sobbing was short-lived as she sought isolation to let this sink in (O'Donoghue 15).
As she sat in that chair looking out in the open space, she saw the new fresh life that was promising which the author points out "She could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life. The delicious breath of rain was in the air." As new life breathed into her, she could not fight it, and she allowed herself to envision this world of freedom. The grief turns to joy as the promise of a new life unfolds right before her. She forgets her pain, the pain she had in living for someone other than herself.
It is as if she had been tied down and this untimely death of her husband had freed her. She had given up on life lacking the desire to live long, but now she was praying for long life. She would live this life alone as Kate Chopin points out "There would be no one to live for her during those coming years; she would live for herself." It is as if she had not been living for herself but for her husband and this had taken the life out of her but now with him out of the way she would fly (Tanner 100).
Mrs. Mallard was however not selfish, not that her grief was gone, she would weep again once she saw him but the joy she had surpassed her grief. She says it herself that she loved him though not all times but that was not a thought to ponder, it was no time for guilt but a time to celebrate: not the death of her husband but the birth of her freedom. At the end when she sees her husband her short-lived joy dies, and it dies along with her as her weak heart that withstood the sad news gives in.
The story of an hour exposes the secrets of marriages, and the struggles couples go through. The struggles are so real that the death of spouses is a source of freedom, joy, and happiness. Mrs. Mallard, the goddess of victory, plunges to her death upon the resurrection of her husband as he takes away all the hope and joy she had. She chooses death over a continued life of bondage to an unhappy marriage. The Doctors call the cause of her death as heart disease- of joy that kills.
Call, Tanner. "Patriarchy & Feminism in the Early 20th Century: Finding Middle GroundThrough Kate Chopin." (2017).
O'Donoghue, Kate, and Heather Ostman, eds. Kate Chopin in Context: New Approaches.Springer, 2016
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