Whether It Was a Joy That Killed Louise: Analysis of Kate Chopin’s the Story of an Hour

Topics: Heart disease, Happiness, Kate Chopin Pages: 2 (926 words) Published: September 13, 2008
No doubt it is a big grief for a loving spouse to lose his or her loved one. And if someone told me a story about a woman who bewailed her deceased husband and then died of overwhelming happiness after she saw him safe and sound, I would definitely believe in reliability of this story. Especially, if I was told that the women had heart problems. It is known that not only a sorrow but and an excessive joy can cause a fatal heart attack. However, after reading Kate Chopin’s The Story of an Hour, I felt puzzled about doctors’ conclusion that Mrs. Mallard died “of joy that kills.” So, was it really an overwhelming joy that Louise’s heart couldn’t bear? In her fictional tale Chopin describes the experience of Louise Mallard, a young woman with a heart trouble, immediately after receiving news of her husband’s death. All the events of the story take place within an hour in Louise’s home. The story begins by informing us that Louise’s husband, Brently Mallard, was killed in a railroad disaster. Knowing that Louise has a heart condition, her sister Josephine was hesitant about breaking the bad news to her. Unlike most women who find themselves in denial after being told something of this magnitude, Mrs. Mallard wept at once, went away to her room and locked the door. During Louise’s solitude in her room, Josephine was kneeling at the other side of the door begging for Louise to unlock and come out. Josephine was concerned that her sister was stressing herself and it would have negative effect on her heart. Eventually Louise opened the door and walked out with her sister toward the stairs. To everybody’s surprise, Brently Mallard walked through the front door alive and well which caused Mrs. Mallard’s heart attack and immediate death. While doctors and her family believed Louise had a heart attack because she was overjoyed, the details of the hour led me to conclude there was a different reason for Louise’s heart attack. When I read the story the first time nothing...
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