Disappointment In Kate Chopin's The Story Of An Hour

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Disappointment "The Story of an Hour" is a short story in which Kate Chopin, the author, presents an often unheard of view of marriage. Mrs. Louise Mallard, Chopin 's main character, experiences the exhilaration of freedom rather than the desolation of loneliness after she learns of her husband 's death. Later, when Mrs. Mallard learns that her husband, Brently, still lives, she know that all hope of freedom is gone. The crushing disappointment kills Mrs. Mallard. Published in the late eighteen hundreds, the oppressive nature of marriage in "The Story of an Hour" may well be a reflection of, though not exclusive to, that era. Though Chopin relates Mrs. Mallard 's story, she does not do so in first person. Chopin reveals the story through a narrator 's voice. The narrator is not simply an observer, however. The narrator knows, for example, that Mrs. Mallard, for the most part, did not…show more content…
When Mrs. Mallard walks down the stairs with her sister, she has triumph in her eyes (paragraph 20). The front door opens, however, and Brently walks in. What effect does this have on Mrs. Mallard? It kills her. Mrs. Mallard has, in a very short time, realized the world is a wonderful place and that she can live in it anyway she chooses. She gains freedom, independence, individuality, and a whole host of things to look forward to in life. When Brently walks in the door, though, Mrs. Mallard knows that she will have to spend the rest of her life as no more than his wife does, just as she had been. She knows that she will never be free. This is too much for Mrs. Mallard to handle. Life had been grim before, with her looking forward to the years ahead "with a shudder" (paragraph 19). Now that Mrs. Mallard has tasted what life might have been like without her husband, the idea of resuming her former life is unbearably grim. When Mrs. Mallard sees that her husband still lives, she dies, killed by the disappointment of losing everything she so recently thought she had
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