The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin is a short yet complex story, describing Mrs Mallard’s feelings. It focuses on the unfolding emotional state of Mrs Mallard after the news of her husbands death, and has overflowing symbolism and imagery. It is an impressive literary piece that touches the readers’ feelings and mind and allows the reader to have a connection to Mrs Mallard’s emotional process. Although the story is short, it is complete with each word carrying deep sense and meaning. It is written in the 19th century, a time that had highly restrictive gender roles that forbade women to live as they saw fit. Mrs Mallard experiences something not everyone during this time has the luck to have; the happiness of freedom that the reader only
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Mrs Mallards own feelings are also described, and it’s clear that she doesn’t share her husbands feelings “she loved him – sometimes. Often she did not” (159). This kind of direct and simple language is used to describe things that Mrs Mallard isn’t emotional about, thus the language would indicate, as much as the actual words do, that Mrs Mallard didn’t have strong feelings for her husband. After all, what can compare to “a long procession of years that would belong to her absolutely” (159). This is where Chopin finally gives a reason as to why Mrs Mallard feels this way about her husbands death. “There would be no one to live for her during these coming years: she would live for herself. There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose” (159). This shows the reader a picture of Mrs Mallards family life. She was unhappy with her husband because she couldn’t have her own opinion and she couldn’t show her own will to do something, which is why she is happy to be free of her marriage. Back in the 19th century, society would not accept a divorced woman, but it would accept widows.
Mrs Mallard is estatic, realising that she was now free from her husband, and still has a place in society. “Free, body and soul free!” (159). Reading these words the reader shares with Mrs Mallard her feelings, excitement and hopes. At this point the readers have fixated mostly on Mrs Mallard and the