Theme Of Freedom In The Story Of An Hour

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Death of Freedom

“The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin begins as a heart-wrenching tale about a wife losing her husband to a railroad accident. The main character, Mrs. Mallard, has an awful heart condition, so her family has to be extremely cautious when breaking the horrible news to her. After moments of weeping, she makes her way upstairs where she will go through many emotional changes. The theme of freedom and self-realization is shown through Mrs. Mallard. After dealing with pain for years, she comes to a point of peace, relaxation, and, most importantly, hope.
In Mrs. Mallard’s room, she immediately sits down restlessly in a comfortable chair. Kate Chopin explains this motion as “pressed down by a physical exhaustion that haunted her body and seemed to reach into her soul” (Mays 524). By analyzing this quote, one can see that Mrs. Mallard is facing a strong magnitude of pain because she says it reaches down into her very soul. She feels hollow and empty without her husband. After she sits down in the chair, she brings her head up and looks out an open window. This window symbolizes her life and her mind beginning to open and becoming free. Through this window, she sees birds, blue skies, and new spring life. After such a traumatic situation,
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Mallard thinks of life without her husband, the more she enjoys the idea. She is a “goddess of victory” which means she now has self-possession (Mays 525). She is free from the relentless hold her husband has had over her for so long, and just like goddesses, she is strong and independent. Mrs. Mallard is now at the point of contentment. She has hope for the future and is excited about making her own decisions in life. The whole time that Mrs. Mallard has been having this realization, her sister has been knocking at the door. So, she, feeling like a new woman, makes her way downstairs. To her complete shock, there was her husband, Brently Mallard, standing in the doorway. Mrs. Mallard died
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