Louise Mallard in The Story Of An Hour Essay

1624 Words 7 Pages
Written in 1894, “The Story of an Hour” is a story of a woman who, through the erroneously reported death of her husband, experienced true freedom. Both tragic and ironic, the story deals with the boundaries imposed on women by society in the nineteenth century. The author Kate Chopin, like the character in her story, had first-hand experience with the male-dominated society of that time and had experienced the death of her husband at a young age (Internet). The similarity between Kate Chopin and her heroine can only leave us to wonder how much of this story is fiction and how much is personal experience. Indeed, Louise Mallard and Kate Chopin’s lives are very similar and ironic. Louise’s life began once she came to the realization …show more content…
In my research paper I want to discuss the concept of freedom for a woman in Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour”, and how the wrong news can make the happiest person in the world and then cause her death.

Relationships seem to be the favorite subject of Kate Chopin’s stories. As Margaret Bauer suggests that Chopin is concerned with exploring the “dynamic interrelation between women and men, women and patriarchy, even women and women” (Bauer 146). In “The Story of an Hour” Chopin deals with the subject of marriage. She illustrates the influence of family alliance on individual freedom. According to Wohlpart,“The Story of an Hour” describes the journey of Mrs. Mallard against the Cult of True Womanhood as she slowly becomes aware of her own desires and thus of a feminine self that has long been suppressed”(Wohlpart 2). The Cult of True Womanhood in the XIX century included “purity” and “domesticity”. The former suggested that women must maintain their virtue. The latter – denied them their intellectual and professional capabilities (Papke 12). Being the victim of this Cult, Louise Mallard was a good example of a wife without “her own desires and feminine self”. The background of the story gives us the idea of what Mrs. Mallard’s marriage meant to her. We see a picture of a young well-to-do wife who seems to be very pleased with her life. We also get the impression that she was deeply in love with her husband.