22 September 2012
The Story of the Hour: Louise Mallard
In Kate Chopin’s, The Story of the Hour, “joy that kills”(pg. 525) is the last line of the story. This describes Mrs. Mallard’s gift of joy that was taken from her as quickly as it was given. Mrs. Mallard dies of a broken heart, which is ironic because it was not a heart made of love for her husband but, a heart full of joyful independence. Mrs. Mallard’s emotions and private thoughts are just as complex and confusing as the last words in the story “joy that kills”(pg. 525). It all starts with the news of her husband’s death. From there Mrs. Mallard experiences the feelings of sorrow, confusion, and the ability to be free.
First, Mrs. Mallard experiences sorrow. When her sister, Josephine, reveals that
Mr. Mallard had died; Mrs. Mallard begins to weep immediately in her sister’s arms.
Chopin describes this scene as “the storm of grief” (pg. 523). The storm refers to the intense and immediate weeping response to the news. After Mrs. Mallard decides to sit in her room alone, Chopin states, “when a sob came up to her throat” (pg.524). This is describing Mrs. Mallard feeling numb but the unconscious feeling of sadness is …show more content…
Freedom had won the battle in her mind. She goes on to say that she loved her husband, showing that there was no hard feeling between them but, the feeling of living for herself triumphed. Mrs. Mallard realizes her husband was gone and she was able to start her new life, not having anyone weigh her down. Chopin describes the scene of her and Josephine walking down the stairs after she has let her into the room as Mrs. Mallard “carrying herself unwittingly like a goddess of victory”(pg.525). This sounds like she had made the decision to start her new life and felt the joy that it brought to her; until her husband, who was supposed to be dead, came walking through the