February 18, 2013
Story of an Hour: Theme
The short story “The Story of an Hour” was written by Kate Chopin and can be found in The Bedford Introduction to Literature by Michael Meyer on Page 15. Louise Mallard is a woman who deals with forbidden joy and an oppressed marriage all in which create the central meaning and the conclusion of the story. For Louise Mallard the joy of freedom and individuality only existed when she was secluded from her husband. She was afflicted with a “heart trouble” which can imply the emotional and physical problems she has been dealing and feeling with. The heart trouble made Josephine and Richards carefully tell her of Brently’s death, she responded with such sorrow and unhappiness. Once alone Mrs. Mallard becomes brighter and excited, realizing and grasping that she is now a liberated woman. This is rare because it is unusual for a wife to become happy or be filled with joy after finding out that her husband has passed away. Mrs. Mallard’s emotions when she is isolated sitting on her chair looking at the window provides a better picture of how her marriage was a burden to her and shows how she becomes joyful of not having to be with her husband. Her private thoughts were all overwhelmed with the opportunities she now had and all the things she can now do, things that were not possible with her husband. Those Feelings that only came out when she was by herself, such as dreaming about all the days, the rest of her life in hopes of living a love life, filled with freedom and joy. While Mrs. Mallard is fantasizing of the life she’s about to have in her private thoughts, there is a struggle within her on resisting the happiness she is feeling. Such struggle exposes how forbidden her joy is. Realizing she is feeling joy, “When she abandoned herself a little whispered word escaped her slightly parted lips. She said it over and over under her breath: “free, free, free!” ”(15), acknowledging this...