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The Story of a Widow in Kate Chopin's The Story of an Hour Essay

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“There would be no one to live for during those coming years; she would live for herself. There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature.” Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” is the story of a woman’s reaction to the news of her husband’s passing. Mrs. Louise Mallard is a young woman most would conclude to be saddened by the passing of her husband. Yet it is in that very moment we find her true feelings.

Kate Chopin was born Katherine O’Flaherty on February 8, 1850 in St. Louis Missouri. She was the only child born to her parents to live past the age of twenty-five. It was at the age of twenty she met and married
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Mallard’s sister Josephine was at the house that day as well. It is not until Louise retreats to an upstairs bedroom that something comes over her. She at first is unable to recognize the feeling that is overcoming her. Trying to suppress this strange emotion proves futile. “She said it over and over under her breath: "free, free, free!" The vacant stare and the look of terror that had followed it went from her eyes. They stayed keen and bright. Her pulses beat fast, and the coursing blood warmed and relaxed every inch of her body.” Louise Mallard had realized the years left in her life were hers and hers alone. “Spring days, and summer days, and all sorts of days that would be her own. She breathed a quick prayer that life might be long. It was only yesterday she had thought with a shudder that life might be long.”

Louise Mallard’s reaction to her husband’s passing may seem startling. Was this a woman so unhappy in her marriage that this was the response to hearing of his passing? “And yet she had loved him--sometimes. Often she had not.” In the time period of “The Story of an Hour” divorce was not considered acceptable. Louis herself struggles with her emotions.” She knew that she would weep again when she saw the kind, tender hands folded in death; the face that had never looked save with love upon her, fixed and gray
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