Louise Mallard And Kate Chopin's The Story Of An Hour

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“Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.” These words were published in 1762 by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Although more than 130 years separate the publication of these words and the publication of “The Story of an Hour” in 1894 by Kate Chopin, Rousseau bespoke a truth as true in 1762, and in 1894, as it is today. The meaning of these words is simply that man creates enslavements which we subject upon ourselves and our fellow beings. This is made evident in Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour,” whose character, Louise Mallard, was a prisoner, confined and repressed to her inner life of intense, conflicting emotions, and a secret desire for autonomy and self-expression. Louise lived like a bird in a cage, merely observing a life from behind bars that was just outside of her reach, and not allowing her to exhibit her liberty and free will. Hence, she was born free, but everywhere she was in chains. “The Story of an Hour” introduces Louise Mallard, a woman afflicted with heart trouble, whose husband was allegedly killed in a railroad accident. Her husband’s friend and her sister, Richards and Josephine respectively, break the news to her as carefully as possible. Mrs. Mallard violently weeps for his loss and then seeks the solitary refuge of her room. While sitting at the open window, she begins to take notice of the life taking place around her. Suddenly, she is confronted with this uncontainable joy in the face of her husband’s death as she realizes that life will be
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