Story of an Hour

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Monika Jablonska Essay # 2, Eng. 201 The Story of an Hour In the "The Story of an Hour,'' by Kate Chopin we watch a women’s life suddenly changing over a very short period of time and it becomes something completely different. The life she had is gone, and self-consciousness steps in. Louise Mallard, devoted wife is informed that her husband was killed in a train accident. Her response is unusual because everyone expects her to be in grief after learning about her husband’s death but at the end we see that this is not the case in this story, and the theme of identity and selfhood, as well as role of women in marriage is shown. In this story Chopin faces the matter of female self-discovery. Once Mrs. Mallard hears of her husband's death, to begin with she’s overcome with grief, but suddenly she’s overwhelmed with a feeling of relief and freedom. Primary, she is terrified of her own feelings, "There was something coming to her and she was waiting for it, fearfully." Her new way of thinking is greater than her and even though she knows that as a good wife she’s not suppose to feel that way, she just can’t help it. At the moment when she screams the words "free, free, free!" she is illustrated as having "abandoned herself." However after few minutes she calms down and begins to think more rationally. As she envisions life without her husband, she starts to think about the future. Mrs. Millard discovers that whether or not she had loved him was less significant than "this possession of self-assertion". The joy she gets by this thought of finally being free is so strong that, when she learns that her husband’s death was a mistake and he’s alive, she instantly falls down and her vision of a better future is gone. She was so overwhelmed with the thought of being free that when she realized that she would have to go back to the same way of living as an hour ago, she
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