Critical Analysis Of Mrs. Chopin's The Story Of An Hour

1335 Words6 Pages
Analysis of “The Story of an Hour” The United States of America, also known as “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” (USA Flag Site), freedom is always one of America’s biggest slogans but what does freedom mean? The Oxford dictionary defines it as, “The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants”, or “The power of self-determination attributed to the will; the quality of being independent of or necessity”. (Oxford dictionary) It means being not dependent on anyone, living your own life, and making your own decisions. The main character of “The Story of an Hour”, Mrs. Ballard, is facing the death of her husband and the question what means freedom? First a summary and answer the question who Mrs. Mallard is. The short…show more content…
It was a time when woman started to fight for more rights, the right to elect and be elected, independence from the men, and more. It was unusual for women to pick up work before, due to the patriarchal structures, but woman started to pick up jobs as secretaries, nurses, and other jobs, now known as “typical woman jobs”, so it was a time of change, indeed. At this time Chopin created her story and it is often named one of the first feminist writings in the history of literature. (American Literature) In the story Mrs. Ballard seems to be trapped inside the role of a good wife, “And yet she had loved him –sometimes.”. (Chopin) There is criticism against the construct of marriage, in this case Mrs. Ballard feels oppressed and the death of her husband frees her, but it is never stated that she was abused or mistreated in a specific way. The fact that she would cry in front of Mr. Ballard’s body shows that she feels no hate against him, so if Mrs. Ballard wasn’t mistreated, has no grudge against her husband, why does she feel oppressed in her marriage? My interpretation is, that it is neither Mrs. Ballard’s fault, nor Mr. Ballard’s, the problem lies in marriage itself. There are often jokes that the sacred bond of marriage robs someone’s independence or it is simply like prison. Chopin seems to support this point of view by showing us Mrs. Ballard who is overwhelmed of joy after she realizes that her husband’s death means also freedom. So she shows us the nature of marriage, that everyone loses their freedom in equal ways, “Till death do us part”.
Open Document