Freedom In Story If An Hour

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Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” describes the feelings of a woman who is obligated to her husband and has no freedom. The joy of freedom throughout history has had women chained to the cultural expectations of married life. But, with the use of symbols, Chopin’s argues that Mrs. Mallard feels free when her husband dies. At the start of the short story, Mrs. Mallard had suffered her entire married life in her house which is dictated by her husband, Mr. Mallard. Mr. Mallard unfortunately has the advantage of the marriage and thinks he has the right to impose everything on his wife. However, that all seems to change when she hears about her husband. In the beginning of the story when she first discovers the news “she wept at once with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sisters arms” (Chopin 15). Also the first sentence of the story says “Knowing that Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble, great care was taken to break to break to her as gently as possible the news of her husband’s death” (Chopin 15). When just glancing over this you may think that in saying she has heart trouble, it is actually telling you she has heart disease or something close to it. But, in fact Chopin wants her readers to know that Mrs. Mallard “has a very specific condition that interferes with the workings of her heart” (Hicks). As we read on we later realize that her heart condition being described is that her marriage hasn’t allowed her to “live for herself” (Chopin 15). Crying is part of her life with Mr. Mallard, but soon disappears as she becomes an independent woman. Mrs. Mallard cries for almost the whole story, only stopping when her new freedom crosses her mind. One critic, S. Selina Jamil, states that “As nature returns to life after winter, so Louise’s emotions returns to life after a prolonged winter of patriarchal confinement.” The open window from

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