A Precis of "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin

Topics: Death Pages: 1 (396 words) Published: August 19, 2008
Mrs. Loise Mallard husband, Brently Mallard, has died in a train accident, according to a report received at a newspaper office. Mrs. Mallard suffers from a heart condition; that is why her sister Josephine and her husband’s friend Richards have come to her after hearing of the disaster to bring the news and show empathy. Both are concerned that the news will make Mrs. Mallard ill and Josephine takes great care to tell her the news as cautiously as she is able.

Mrs. Mallard breaks down, crying fitfully, and locks herself in her bedroom. In the solitude of her room Mrs. Mallard understands the fundamental change taking place in her life. She sits in a chair, no longer crying, looking out the window the feeling of freedom interrupts her grieving. She begins to comprehend that she is joyful that her husband is dead. Feeling guilty she attempts to suppress the thought and fight it back at first. Then she succumbs to it, allowing it to sweep over her. Once Mrs. Mallard accepts the feeling, even though she knows that her husband had really loved her, she is ecstatic that she will never have to bend her will to his again. Now that her husband is dead, she will be free to assert herself in ways she never before dreamed while he was alive. She recognizes that she had loved her husband sometimes, but that now she would be free in body and soul. She begins to look forward to the rest of her life when just the day before she shuddered at the thought of it.

Worried about her sister, Josephine pounds on Mrs. Mallard’s door, begging entry. But Louise, says she is all right and tells her to go away only to resume her celebration about the wondrous future before her. Finally Mrs. Mallard leaves her room and rejoins her sister to return downstairs where Richards still waits. On their way down the stairs, they hear the front door open and see Mr. Mallard walk in. He had been no where near the accident scene. Richards quickly moves in front of Brently to prevent Mrs. Mallard...
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