Independence In Kate Chopin's The Story Of An Hour

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“The Story of an Hour,” written by Kate Chopin, is a short story featuring a woman with a feeble heart, and the story is centered on Louise Mallard and her reactions to her husband’s “death.” Throughout “The Story of an Hour,” Louise Mallard experiences various emotions that leave her wondering how she truly feels about the news of her husband’s death. Before leaving her room and after hours of genuine depression, Louise Mallard realizes that her husband’s death may have granted her something extremely valuable: independence. The story was created in an era where men predominantly controlled the lives of women. In “The Story of an Hour,” Louise Mallard is expelled from the chains of her husband’s control. Although they had a content, loving…show more content…
Her life was elevated to a completely new level after entering her room which happens to be upstairs. When Louise descends the stairs, it symbolizes her independence coming to an end. Joseph Rosenblum describes this phenomenon, “Louise’s room is upstairs, and from there she looks at the tops of trees and hears the songs of birds on the roof. Her freedom is thus literally elevating. Her leaving this refuge and going down the stairs foreshadows her loss of freedom” (para 17). The foreshadowing that Rosenblum refers to is Louise Mallard’s husband returning from an accident that he never actually was involved in to ultimately end her short-lived independence. Although one may say Louise Mallard’s frail heart ended her independence, her husband’s return as the leader of her life truly ended it. The stairs are another form of symbolism that Kate Chopin uses in “The Story of an Hour” to convey how independence creates an undeniable happiness that cannot be obtained even in a content, satisfied marriage. All things considered, one can clearly see that Kate Chopin utilized various forms of symbolism to develop the theme of the joy of independence in “The Story of an
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