Professor Krystal Shirley
October 10th, 2012
Argumentative Essay on “The Story of an Hour”
In general, for one to be happy is a positive emotion, and does not lead to the loss of one’s life. However, that is precisely what took place in “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin. Mrs. Mallard finds out that her loving husband was dead, but sees him walk in the door on the same day. Normally, the same events would bring about a pleasant surprise for the wife, but the author does not intend to end the story that way, instead, Chopin would have Mrs. Mallard die from the shock of find out that her husband is still alive. There are many factors that play a part in Mrs. Mallard reacting the way she did, most of which are only hinted at by describing the events that took place when she went into her room. Chopin uses irony to emphasize the severity of the social status in her time.
The first line of the story mentions that Mrs. Mallard has a heart problem followed by the news of an accident that her husband was affected in. She reacted right away by sobbing, which may be extreme, but is still a reasonable response and not strong enough to affect her heart. Afterwards, she requests to be in her room alone, it is then when she realizes that she is free from the oppression of marriage even though her husband was loving towards her; she is free because her husband is now gone. However, though Mrs. Mallard’s realization may be true, she still showed signs of resistance towards such a thought. The passage, “There was something coming to her and she was waiting for it, fearfully. What was it? She did not know; it was too subtle and elusive to name. But she felt it, creeping out of the sky, reaching toward her through the sounds, the scents, the colour that filled the air” (Chopin, 73), tells readers that in the social status that she lived in, being a free woman is so abnormal and normally unapproved of that she fears what she will soon realize;...
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