Is marriage a prison? According to Kate Chopin, the answer is – yes; marriage is a prison in which freedom does not exist. In 1894, Kate Chopin wrote and published “Story of an Hour.” The story takes place in the late nineteenth century in an American home, where Mrs. Mallard, the protagonist, heard about the news of her husband’s death from her sister. In the beginning, Mrs. Mallards felt sad about her husband’s death. The feeling, however, shifts because she begins to be happy about her husband’s death.
She mourned of her husband’s passing but as she went up the flight of stairs into her room, Mrs. Mallard came to realize of her newfound freedom. She soon relished her liberation from her marriage to her husband Brently. Such freedom was short-lived, and as she her eyes caught sight of her husband’s entrance into the house, her heart gave way and she died. The two women do indeed share some similarities, but also at the same time show various differences that make their respective situations unique. Among the similarities between Calixta and Mrs. Mallard are the conditions of their marriages around the time of the stories: Calixta to Bobinot and Mrs. Mallard with Brently Mallard.
Being told of her husband's death, "She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance." (This shows that she is not totally locked into marriage as most women in her time). Although she had loved him 'sometimes', she automatically does not want to accept the situation of being controlled by her husband. The reader identified Mrs. Mallard as not being a "one-dimensional, clone-like woman having a predictable, for every life condition." In fact the reader believed that Mrs. Mallard had the exact opposite response to the death her husband because finally, she recognizes the freedom she has desired for a long time and it overcomes her sorrow.
The condition is introduced at the opening of the story. It is said that “great care was taken to break to her as gently as possible the news of her husband’s death,” (215) to keep the grief from affecting her heart. In the end of the story the doctors say Louise died of a heart disease and ironically they said she died from overwhelming joy. However, it seems that Louise actually died from losing the joy that she had just gained. It could also be thought of as a broken heart because of her new freedom being taken away from her.
They completely overlook the fact that Juliet wants none other as a husband but Romeo. Instead, they choose to look as Romeo’s banishment as a good thing because now their daughter isn’t wed to a Montague. This decision that is made for Juliet sets her in panic. She then rushes to get out of the fate her father has just promised her. This is when the poor decision of faking her death is made.
Another example Kate Chopin uses of dramatic irony is throughout the whole short story. The reader knows that Mrs. Mallards is glad about her husband’s death but her sister, Josephine, and her best friend, Richards, don’t. They think Mrs. Mallard is making herself sick when she locked herself in her
The numbness and non-reaction of Mrs Mallard, when she heard the news of her husband’s death shows the conflict with her husband. Somehow this conflict shows the desire of emancipation. Such as, “She didn’t hear the story as many women have heard the same, with Paralyzed inability to accept its significance” (paragraph 3). As one reads this, one immediately begins to think there is something else going on with Mrs Mallard rather than grief. It’s hard to fathom that someone would feel anything other than grief after being told that one’s husband is dead.
The Story of an Hour Essay The character of focus in the “ The Story of an Hour”, Louise Mallard, is described as a young, innocent women with a newly found inner-happiness and sense of freedom as a result of the death of her husband and the end of her demanding marriage. Kate Chopin uses symbolism and irony to develop the character of Louise Mallard throughout the short story. Included within the short story is symbolism, mostly dark due to the death of her husband. The symbolism shows the feelings of the character, her mood, and it foreshadows future events. For example, heart trouble is symbolic for love pain.
She never knew how wonderful life looked. Then Louise felt something coming over her. She was afraid of it, and did not know exactly what it was, but she did feel it. I believe this was conflict. First, a feeling of guilt because her husband has just died and she is feeling joy, then a sudden and final feeling of release, as she realizes that she is “free, free free!” (15).
This passage shows Mrs. Mallards guilt and little posession of faith mostly because she realized that she had taken her husband for granted. Also, by taking her husband for granted, she felt like there was nothing else that she could do besides lose all hope in his survival which left Mrs. Mallard with nothing but heartbreak and depression. But what Mrs. Mallard doesnt know is that Mr. Mallard was a constraint to her well being and living a fullfilled life. Symbolism was a strong term in this short story, mainly because I could point out a symbol in most of the detailed paragraphs. Paragraph 6, "There were patches...west facing her window."