Louise Mallard's Death In The Story Of An Hour

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In “The Story of an Hour” Kate Chopin tells the tale of a woman newly believed to be widowed. In the apparent death of her husband, Louise Mallard comes to find that she is not overly sad at the turn of events. Instead, Louise becomes overjoyed at the prospect of freedom from her marriage; she becomes so tumultuously happy that she cannot describe the feeling to herself. In her frantic fantasies, Louise walks down the stairs of her home at the same moment that her husband walks through the door unharmed and intact. Louise falls to the ground and promptly dies of a heart attack while the supporting characters of the story maintain that she died of “joy that kills”. What is left to interpretation in the story is whether or not Louise ever did lay eyes on her living husband in the story at all. In many interpretations of the story critics say that Louise did see her husband and subsequently passed from the shock of seeing him…show more content…
Through textual evidence, I believe that Louise Mallard did not see her husband at the bottom of the stairs, but rather passed from the prospect of freedom that she could not handle, and therefore the last line of the story is not sardonic, but in fact truthful; Louise Mallard truly did die of joy that kills. Firstly, Louise’s death was a result of her dissatisfaction with life. In the text, Louise repeatedly makes clear to the reader that she did not enjoy her married life despite Brently’s “kind, tender hands... [and] face that had never looked save with love upon her (Chopin 525).” In Louise’s opinion marriage, it is nothing more to her than a “powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence (Chopin 525).” Throughout her internal monologue, Louise is
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