Kate Chopin’s novel “The Story of an Hour” is one of her most well-known novels. Mrs. Louise Mallard, Chopin’s main heroine, is a married woman in this short story. Mrs. Mallard is afflicted with heart disease. Her sister informs her of her husband’s death in a horrible train crash. Mrs. Mallard, on the other hand, unveiled a spectacle of delight rather than desolation. She had been unhappy in her marriage for a long time. Her joy stems from the prospect of being out of her union. Mrs. Mallard then discovers that her husband, Brentley, is still alive. She is heartbroken that her freedom is no more. The fate of the Mrs. Mallard in “The Story of an Hour” demonstrates how marriages were tyrannical during that era of late 1800’s when the book was published.
Mrs. Mallard heart condition exposes her to enormous health repercussions. For this reason, her sister, Josephine, tries to be gentle when she breaks the news about her husband’s death. Mrs. Mallard starts to sob once she hears the sad news. She then realizes that this as freedom when she starts repeating one word, “Free, Free, Free”. She suddenly realizes that she had got her freedom. She is delighted and could barely conceal the joy. She happily embraces her sister. Just then, Brentley walks in not knowing news about his accident. Richard, Brentley’s friend, tries to guard her against him. It was too late Mrs. Mallard screams and drops down dead.
The fascinating aspect of “The Story of an Hour” is how Chopin tells the story in a narrator’s voice. She is not only an observer but can relate tactfully with Mrs. Mallard’s story. She does not reveal the precise feeling of Mrs. Mallard. Her feelings are masked in her actions and words. The reader has to disclose this by keenly studying Mrs. Mallard’s action and words for thorough comprehension. Chopin also brings out an ironic reality to the fact that Mrs. Mallard is burdened with heart distress. Despite the fact that she has a heart condition, her heart is not at peace in her marriage making her have “heart troubles”.
“The Story of an Hour” is an entertaining and educative book that would improve the comprehension of literature works for students and teacher. It skillfully explores all the elements of fiction. It uses round characters, especially Mrs. Mallard who bring out a whole idea about the lives of real people. Its plot gets the reader interested to read the book to the end. The plot pulls one through the story so as to see what happens next. Chopin tells the story in from a third person’s perspective. She can enter the mind of the character so as to reveal her thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. The story is set in a historical time where she raises her thoughts especially on how difficult marriages were.
In conclusion, “The Story of an Hour” is a reflection of the oppressive nature of marriages in the late 1800’s. The relevance of this story in today’s society is gender equality and importance of understanding in marriages. It is evident from the book that in the past women used to be in oppressive marriages. This helps us to understand and learn from the past and how we can overcome the problem of oppression in marriages.