Story of an Hour Response

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A response to “The Story of An Hour” By Kate Chopin

Kate Chopin’s short story titled “The Story of An Hour” focuses on the life-changing events that transpire within an hour in the life of a certain Louise Mallard, before ultimately leading to her demise. The story begins as the news of her husband’s death is broken to Mrs. Mallard, with utmost care, as apparently she suffers from a heart disease.

Although, over stricken with grief and sadness at first, soon she comes to accept the incident with surprising nonchalance. Even worse, this nonchalance soon transforms into ecstasy, or “monstrous joy” according to her, as she realizes that now she is completely free, free from all her conjugal duties, free from the overbearing influence of her husband, and most importantly free to lead her life the way she wishes. Although at first, she herself is repulsed by the very idea, soon she comes to accept and even enjoy it. However, as she slowly comes to term with the notion of this new found freedom and confidence, and decides that she is ready to face the world on her own- this apparently new world, full of wonders and little surprises that she never before had the opportunity to notice or relish- the story ends with a twist. It just so happens that Mr. Mallard was never even near the sight of the accident that was thought to have ended his life. And as he enters the house, the sight of him shocks Louise to death, as all her new-found dreams are brought crushing to the ground with this earth shattering revelation. Not knowing any better, the doctor declares that she died of the sudden shock of happiness.

It is very easy to analyze the story from a feminist perspective, to paint Louise Mallard as a timid, helpless woman tortured by her over-bearing and dominating husband, to depict her as the unwitting victim to her evil husband’s oppression. It’s also very easy to label this tale as another addition to the countless stories of women being repressed by men in...
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