Death Of Louise Mallard In Kate Chopin's The Story Of An Hour

Decent Essays
Louise Mallard was initially overwhelmed by sadness of the news of Brently’s death but the elation of seeing her husband alive ironically caused her death. Do you agree?
‘The Story of An Hour’, by Kate Chopin, is a reflection of the radical phases Louise Mallard, a heart patient, goes through whilst perceiving the unfortunate news that her husband, Brently, is dead. Louise endures a series of momentary, yet bewildering emotions as she imbibes the truth that Brently died in an accident. Through contemplation, Mrs. Mallard experiences the contentment of freedom and independence over the misery of her solitude. Towards the end, when Mrs. Mallard discerns that Brently is alive, this disappointment kills Mrs. Mallard as she realises all her
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It was because of Mrs. Mallard’s great love for Brently and her heart trouble that Josephine had to take extra precautions whilst revealing the truth about Brently’s death. Upon hearing this unfortunate news about her husband, a ‘storm of grief’ instantly washes her away and she breaks into tears. So, it can be said that the exhilaration and shock upon seeing her husband alive lead to her death. However, if this were true, why would Louise constantly mention, “Free, free, free!” and “Free! Body and soul free”? It is evident that these dialogues prove that Mrs. Mallard was solely after ‘freedom’ more than she was worried about Brently’s death. Towards the middle of the story, Louise’s perspective completely changes to one that ‘welcomes’ the future and she is indeed, exhilarated by her anticipative freedom. Later, when she passes away, the doctors come to say that ‘she had died of heart disease—of the joy that kills’. This shows that the so-called ‘joy’ is the idea that the sudden grief of losing her much-loved independence was simply too much for her heart. Her heart could simply not take the fact that her freedom had been stolen from her and indeed, she realises that her anticipative freedom had lasted for no longer than ‘an hour’. Therefore, it can be concluded that it was not the elation of Brently’s arrival that killed her, but the grief of having lost her much-loved
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