Theme of the Story of an Hour

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English 102
09, February 2012
Freedom and Confinement
In “The Story of an Hour”, Kate Chopin showed how even the news of someone else's death, if told the wrong way, can be lethal. Louis Mallard was described as a woman who has heart troubles. Louis’s sister told her, her husband has died in a railroad disaster. At first Louis was overwhelmed with sadness and despair, but after crying for some time, she begins to imagine the years ahead; on her own without anyone to oppress her. She is overjoyed with her newfound sense of independence. Those feelings were soon taken away, and replaced with death, when her husband comes home. At first Louis Mallard is afraid of freedom, but once she begins to experience her newly-found independence, it filled her with an uncontrollable joy that was quickly taken away from her.

When Louis was told that her, her husband has died she “wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment”. At first, Louis didn’t know what to do, and freedom seemed like a terrible thing, and being restricted almost her whole life, it’s hard for her to imagine how to live without him. After Louis isolates herself in her room, she starts to look out her window. At that point Louis begins to discover freedom and she starts the transition to accepting her newfound freedom. Louis becomes excited about her independence, “she was drinking in a very elixir of life through that open window”. Now that she fogged up her mind on how free she is, and how she is not confined in her marriage anymore, she leaves the room. She walks with her sister carrying herself like a goddess of Victory; she sees her husband walks through the front door.

Louis was so excited when she learned about her independence, but once she discovered her husband is still alive she realizes she won’t have her new independence. She then went in a state of shock, got heart attack and died from the joy that kills.
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