The story is about a woman who learns that her husband is dead. She discovered that his death gave her more freedom to pursue her own interests. She later learnt that he was not dead and suffered from shock that later killed her. The story illustrates complex themes involving interplay of female issues such as love, independence and marriage unions. The author through her character Louise Mallard lays claim that the loss of a loved one may not be greater than the benefit of personal freedom and independence. From the analysis of the story, it is evident that freedom of mind and spirit is greater than the loss of close family ties. It is worthy to pursue personal freedom and independence at whatever cost and loss (Chopin, 1981).
Richard, a friend of Brently Mallard heard the news of Mallard’s death through news and rushed to tell his wife, Mrs. Mallard. Consequently, she wept bitterly and sat emotionless at a chair near a window overlooking the outside world. She was still in her youth and had a calm strong face. After much reflection and sobs, she realized that she was suddenly free. The realization excited her and she was no longer terrified. She mourned the death of her husband and simultaneously welcomed the prospective of her new freedom. Although she loved her husband deeply, she realized that love was nothing compared to her new freedom of body, soul and mind (Chopin, 1981).
Josephine, Mrs. Mallard’s sister thought that Mrs. Mallard was overcome with grief. She tried to tell her to stay strong to avoid illness. However, Josephine didn’t know that Mrs. Mallard was at that point imagining her future freedom and the good it would bring her. The previous day, Mrs. Mallard had a fear of living longer but the news of her husband’s death brought new insights and freedom to look forward to. Suddenly, her future seemed bright and she could hardly wait to live it. While she escorted Josephine from the door to the seating room where Richard waited, her husband suddenly came in through the door. Her husband wasn’t involved in any train accident and news of his death were misguided. Richard tried unsuccessfully to hide Mallard to prevent her from seeing him. However his attempt was futile. Upon seeing him, out of shock, she cried out loudly. Subsequently, she fainted and was taken to hospital where she succumbed to a “heart disease”. She purportedly died from “the joy that kills.”
In conclusion, the authors claim that personal freedom was worth pursuing at all cost was clearly illustrated by Mrs. Mallard. She was happy at the prospects of an independent life and she was able to overcome grief and stay happy. The author illustrated the concept of marriage and women’s independence through Mrs. Mallard. Married women have limited freedom as illustrated by Mrs. Mallard who suddenly realizes she is free with her husband’s death. Relationships of permanent nature limit personal freedom for the dependent parties; women in this story.
Chopin, Kate. The Story of an Hour. Jimcin Recordings, 1981. Print