Professor Dr. C. Wiggins
24 September 2011
In “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Choplin, Mrs. Mallard finds freedom in the false belief that her husband is dead, and she dies when she faces the truth. The story takes place back in the 1890’s where women were not treated equally and their expected duties were only to maintain a home and care for their husband, also know as a “house wife”. Throughout the story Mrs. Mallard goes through a transformation of initially grieving and accepting her husbands death then fantasizing on the happiness she will embark now that she is freed from the clutches of her husbands existence. Mrs. Mallard changes in the story dramatically going from weeping in her sister’s arms at the news of his death to sitting in her armchair contemplating what had just occurred and then shouting, “freedom”. She then tries to suppress the emotions building up in her, but can’t and begins repeating the word “free”. She sits by her window side for a while thinking of the future without her husband. She finally feels there is no one to oppress her and feels overjoyed with her new sense of independence. Also the narrator states, “the face that had never looked save with love upon her, fixed and grey and dead.” This suggest that the relationship was okay and Mrs. Mallard admits that he was kind and loving, and states that she did have love for her Castro 2
husband but accepts that none of it matters anymore now that she is free. Mrs. Mallard also stated that she would now live for herself and no one else and she found happiness in this thought. Even thought it is not stated that specifically her husband oppressed her in a specific way I believe the marriage itself is what Mrs., Mallard felt oppressed her and robbed her of her independence and now with her husband dead she had gained it back. Her elusive search from freedom and self-identity is finally over with her husband’s death. While...