A Woman's Brief Freedom in "The Story of an Hour" Essay

Decent Essays
"The Story of an Hour", was written and narrated by Kate Chopin. Chopin utilized an omniscient point of view, while exhibiting various types of irony throughout the story. The story takes place in the 19th century, an era when it was acceptable for men to regulate their wives. The setting is in a house where a discontented housewife is restricted. Women were obligated to take care of their domicile and care for the children--this was their primary purpose as a wife. The story focuses on the reaction and emotions of Mrs. Mallard, the protagonist in the story who learns of the death of her spouse.

The narrative begins with Josephine temperately (she does not want the news to trigger Mrs. Mallard's heart condition) informing
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Instead of creating an atmosphere that symbolizes death (dreariness), the writer chose to symbolize spring as: freshness, new beginnings, and liveliness. Mrs. Mallard enjoyed what she viewed from her window. To her this window symbolized independence--freedom from her dwelling. The house symbolizes the Mallard's marriage. It contained baggage--physical and emotional, that held her back. The physical baggage of her spouse was gone. In order for Mrs. Mallard to be, "Free! Body and soul free!" (Chopin 16), she would need to get rid of the emotional memories also.

Mrs. Mallard is sad that her husband is gone and "She knew that she would weep again when she saw the kind, tender hands folded in death;" (Chopin 14). However, she looked forward to her new and independent life. "There would be no one to live for during those coming years; she would live for herself." (Chopin 14). Mrs. Mallard gleefully embraces the fact that she was no longer: attached, married, and even better she was no longer Mrs. Mallard or Brently's wife. Louise was no longer defined by her husband. People would now see Louise not Brently's wife. She was now Louise who was "free, free, free!" (Chopin 11). Louise would dictate her own life and the course she wanted her life to take. Louise's character was not content with her marriage or her life. Being in an unequal marriage, where her spouse controlled her was something Louise did not agree with. She seemed to have an
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