The Story of an Hour: Happiness and Self Sacrifice
“The Story of an Hour” became most memorable because of the characterization and conflict that portray the battle between happiness and self sacrifice, something we deal with on a day to day basis. Marriage does not always get couples the happiness they expect. Many people get trapped in their own marriages. Mrs. Mallard, in “The Story of an Hour” experiences such misfortune. Only on one hour of her marriage that Mrs. Mallard felt happy. That happened, bizarrely, when she got told about the husband’s death by her sister. Entrapment in her own marriage and mind eventually led to her death. She got a heart attack when she saw her supposedly dead husband alive. Symbolism in the story helps bring out feeling of wellness, wonderfulness and comfort within the readers mind. One example is the comfortable chair which she sat on. This happens after obtaining news of her husbands demise. Through the open window, she sees many symbols of amusing things (Chopin 7).
The protagonist was Mrs. Louise Mallard. The whole story revolves around her life and the crucial events that occur. She is a dynamic character. Initially, she became hurt on learning that her husband died. Then she changed her mind and realized that she could live on her own. The story revolves around her opinions. Another character is Mr. Brent Mallard, whose role is significant. He features in a bunch of paragraphs and at the finale. Not much got revealed about his character. He is crucial to the plot as the plot rotates about his supposed death. The third character was Josephine. She was Louises sister. She is a confidante. Louise confided in Josephine. She told her how happy she was, and how she could live her own life. She drove the plot since Louise confided to her. Josephine continuously checks on her. This was to ensure that Louise was doing well. The fourth character was Richard. He was Mr. Mallards best friend. Richard character type was static. Throughout the plot, he always checked whether Louis was well. His personality became unaltered during the entire story. He drove the plot. He told Mrs. Mallard the devastating news about her husband (Chopin 13). Each character depicts a crucial role in the story. In their unique ways, they all assist in adding to the plot. Oddly, one character was absent in most of the plot. He aided the plot to progress more than all the other characters (Chopin 16).
Kate Chopin points out that the conflict between society and individuals was the cause of sadness and tragedy of marriage. She suggested that social expectations were the real cause of the protagonist’s deaths. In the story, Mr. Mallard died, and Louise’s friends had to break the “tragic” news to her gently. Not only had her husband died, Louise could die too upon receiving the news. The death put them both in danger. Louise’s friends had to take care in letting her know what happened. This was to ensure that she did not die too (Chopin 26).
Chopin, Kate. The Story of an Hour: And Other Stories. Logan: Perfection Learning Corporation, 2000. Print.