“The Story of an Hour” Marriage Analysis
Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” is a case that has been analyzed by many since its publishing in 1894 with a raging debate on what exactly the story represents. Some argue that the writer sought to illustrate the oppression Mrs. Mallard suffered while alive. Others claim the story reflects challenges faced in many of the marriages today and in the past. In this essay, the focus is on the tumultuous marriage between Brently and Mrs. Mallard. Further, the evidence supporting the statement that the status of this marriage was the cause of Mrs. Mallard’s death has been provided.
More problems than love
In the story, it is evident that the marriage between the aforementioned characters could not be termed as the best. Although Mrs. Mallard weeps immediately after receiving the news of the supposed death of her husband, there could ore reasons for this. Firstly, she may have cried for imagining the loneliness that would befall her. Secondly, any different reaction to such kind of news would have left her friends shell-shocked since they knew ‘she was afflicted with a heart trouble” (Chopin, p.1).
Moreover, in the story it is clear that Brently controlled most of her decisions, and possibly could be interpreted to mean oppression. No matter the justification that the husband would give, the fact that Mrs. Mallard collapses and dies upon seeing her husband whom she initially thought to be dead proves she could not imagine any more life with him. Additionally, it is evident from the story that Mrs. Mallard felt liberated after her husband’s supposed death. Consequently, facing him again moments after her perceived freedom proved to be too much to bear hence succumbing to shock.
Freedom seems to be what everybody seeks but still unsure of what it entails as evidenced by Mrs. Mallard’s response. Chopin writes that “She was beginning to recognize this thing that was approaching to possess her, and she was striving to beat it back with her will–as powerless as her two white slender hands would have been” (p.10). Even though she had spent much of her time enduring oppression form Brently, Mrs. Mallard feared the freedom that seemed to result from her husband’s demise. The story proves that the human is need of something very vital without which the soul finds no peace- freedom. In other words, a soul denied freedom – in whatever way- will crave it and when offered the opportunity will seek it at all cost.
In conclusion, the story provides more lessons even to the general public than just the marriage. Firstly, delivering tragic news to other people before verification could be catastrophic, and it is imperative to confirm the authenticity of any information before delivering it. Secondly, marriage seems be a place where comfort, peace and satisfaction ought to be enjoyed. At the same time, it could be a place where hearts are broken especially when the partners involved fail to appreciate one another. Freedom is a necessity to every human that cannot be compromised since it makes the person feel liberated. From the story, Mrs. Mallard started viewing the future as better without her husband due to the oppression she had preserved. Unfortunately, the news was not accurate, and upon seeing her husband, she knew the oppression would continue even more thus could not imagine that life again.
Chopin, Kate. “”The Story of an Hour”.VCU., 1894. Web. 23 Sept. 2014. .