A Hidden Trap In Kate Chopin's The Story Of An Hour

1072 Words5 Pages
A Hidden Trap Kate Chopin’s short story, “The Story of an Hour”, was written in 1894 during the era of where a woman was suppose to depend on her husband for everything. Chopin gives the reader an unheard of view of marriage in her short story, by using symbolism to show how to some people, marriage can be like a trap or a role of servitude rather than a loving relationship. Chopin also uses irony at the of her short story when Mrs. Mallard dies, showing that death is not always a form of grief, but it can also be used to symbolize freedom and independence. Chopin starts her short story by introducing the reader to Mrs. Mallard’s heart troubles. Chopin uses symbolism to represent not only Mrs. Mallard’s physical heart condition but also…show more content…
Throughout Chopin’s short story, Mrs. Mallard was only identified by her first name one time, and it was by her sister. The fact that Mrs. Mallard was only identified by her husband’s last name shows how she did not have a personal identity of her own and shows another way that Mrs. Mallard was trapped under her husband’s rule through marriage. Chopin also uses irony in her short story with Mrs. Mallard’s death at the end of the story when her husband returned home alive. “The irony of Mr. Mallard returning alive is like the loaded gun of melodrama” (Ewell.) When Mr. Mallard returns home, Mrs. Mallard was sitting in a comfy armchair thinking of her new found freedom and independence in her husband’s death. “Chopin uses the bedroom to symbolize the place where Mrs. Mallard discovered her joy and the place that she became her own person (Hicks.) Instead of grieving like everyone expected her to, she felt happy in the fact that Mr. Mallard was dead and that she was now free. However, Mrs. Mallard’s new found freedom was shortly lived, because when Mrs. Mallard heard the click of Mr. Mallard opening the door, the click of the lock symbolized her being locked back into her patriarchal trap. With her new found freedom being ripped away from her and her being trapped back under the rule of her husband ultimately killed Mrs. Mallard. The Doctor said that “She died from the joy that kills.”(Chopin 525) , but she died because her heart could not handle being trapped under her husbands rule

    More about A Hidden Trap In Kate Chopin's The Story Of An Hour

      Open Document