The Story of an Hour

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In “The Story of an Hour”, Kate Chopin clearly displays a negative perspective of marriage by showing us a married woman who is overjoyed when she thinks her husband has passed away in an accident. Throughout the story, you can see that she doesn’t love her husband and she’s okay with the fact that her husband is dead. On page 762, second to last paragraph, Chopin describes her feelings as “monstrous joy”, which matches her emotions at this point. I find that word choice very interesting because not only that it’s becoming overwhelming for her, but also because she knows that she shouldn’t feel the way she does about her husband’s death. On page 763, Chopin writes “There would be no one to live for her during those coming years; she would live for herself. There will 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.” At this point of the story, she’s realizing that she doesn’t need to be sad. Now that her husband is gone, she can be independent and stable on her own. Chopin uses phrases as “powerful will” and “blind persistence” to emphasis that she felt like she had no one to live for, but herself now. She was starting to look forward to days to come because of her husband’s death, unlike before when she was unhappy. At the end of the story, her husband shows up. Chopin says “When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease–of joy that kills”. That line is very ironic and paradoxical because the doctors think she died cause of “heart disease” from the joy of seeing her husband. In reality, we readers know that’s not what happened. She already had heart trouble, and she doesn’t feel free unless her husband is gone. When her husband returns, it was the sight of him that actually killed her; not joy.
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