Kate Chopin, the Story of an Hour" Essay

471 WordsJan 27, 20142 Pages
Kate Chopin’s short story, “The Story of an Hour” portrays how human’s deal with one of the inevitabilities of life: death. Through the characters, Chopin portrays the different approaches to dealing with grief caused by the death of a loved one. The story revolves around the ailing Mrs. Louise Mallard and the way she deals with the news of the husband’s death. Even though Mrs. Mallard seems like a round character, overall, it seems that the writer portrays Mrs. Mallard as a dynamic character. Through the struggles of this character, the reader experiences the different stages of grieving and the ultimate cost of heartbreak. The story opens with a description of how the characters were very tactful in breaking the news of the death of Mr. Mallard to Mrs. Mallard on the account of Mrs. Mallard’s heart trouble. Richard, Mr. Mallard’s friend, hastens to announce the dreadful news with tender care. Yet, her sister, Josephine, is the one who gently breaks the news to her. These precautions were taken out of the fear of the possible impact of the devastating news on her already fragile health. As expected, Mrs. Mallard is instantly overtaken with despair and retreats to her bedroom. Mrs. Mallard is defeated and sinks into a lounging chair. However, after observing the smell, noise and beauty of her surroundings Mrs. Mallard is then overtaken with the realization of renewed life. Desperately attempting to suppress these joyous emotions Mrs. Mallard exhales: “free, free, free!” stunning the readers. The reader expected a broken and inconsolable woman. Instead of a broken widow, Mrs. Mallard displays an amazing degree of resilience after the initial outburst of grief and sorrow. It seems that the tragic news has strengthened and not weakened her. It becomes obvious that Mrs. Mallard’s outward disposition masked her inward struggles. However, as the story
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