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Essay on Literary Analysis on Kate Chopin’s The Story of an Hour

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Kate Chopin’s “The Story of An Hour” focuses on a woman named Louise Mallard and her reaction to finding out about her husband’s death. The descriptions that the author uses in the story have significance in the plot because they foreshadow the ending. This story mainly follows a woman with heart trouble. Her husband’s name appears at the top of a list of people killed in a railroad accident. The story than explains her reaction upon finding out about his death. At the end of the story, her husband (who never actually even knew about the accident) shows up at the door of their house. When she sees him, she has a heart attack and dies. Chopin describes her as a fragile woman. Because she was “afflicted with a heart trouble,” when she…show more content…
She considered herself “free” (2). Apparently, her marriage had felt to her like a prison and she wanted to get out of it. After her husband’s assumed death, she “breathed a prayer that life might be long” (3). Thinking her husband was dead, she was actually happy and actually wanted to live a life – by herself. Before the railroad accident, “she had thought with a shudder that life might be long” (3). Clearly, she did not want to spend the rest of her life with him, as she was unhappy in her marriage. However, nobody witnessed this reaction of hers, as it occurred behind closed doors with her alone in the room. Because only the reader knows her true feelings about her husband’s death, nobody in the story knows the real reason she died of a heart attack at the end of the story. Unaware of the reality of the situation, even the doctors believed that the joy of seeing her husband again brought on the heart attack. The doctors said that she died of “joy that kills” (3). They, like Richards and Josephine) believed that she felt such great elation that her husband actually had not died and, because of her weak heart, experienced the heart attack that ended her life. From her “keen and bright” eyes to the “monstrous joy that held her,” the reader realizes the heart attack wasn’t brought on by happiness, but by sadness over the fact that she felt as if she was back in her prison of a marriage and that he actually did
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