Literary Analysis- the Story of an Hour Essay

Words: 1837
Pages: 8

Ride of Her Life In “The Story of an Hour” (1894), Kate Chopin presents a woman in the last hour of her life and the emotional and psychological changes that occur upon hearing of her husbands’ death. Chopin sends the protagonist, Mrs. Mallard, on a roller coaster of emotional up’s and down’s, and self-actualizing psychological hairpin turns, which is all set in motion by the news of her husband’s death. This extreme “joy ride” comes to an abrupt and ultimately final halt for Mrs. Mallard when she sees her husband walk through the door unscathed. Chopin ends her short story ambiguously with the death of Mrs. Mallard, imploring her reader to determine the true cause of her death. The story beginnings with Chopin informing the …show more content…
However, when she “abandoned herself a little” she is able to allow her true emotions to escape with one small word “free, free, free!” (1). This small four letter word at first brought on a “vacant stare and… look of terror” (2) because of the feelings she was having so soon after her husband’s death. This look quickly vanished as her body began to have a physical reaction to her psychological state of mind and “her pulse beat fast… coursing blood warmed and relaxed every inch of her body” (2). At this point Mrs. Mallard is transformed into Louise, an individual that is no longer controlled by the “powerful will” (2) of another. She is no longer fearful of the “monstrous joy that [holds] her” as she has been enabled by “a clear and exalted perception” of self and individuality that no one’s “private will” shall be imposed upon her in the future (2). Louise is then left to contemplate the years to come beyond the day when she is obligated to lay her husband in his final resting place. The emotional incline she feels from the thought of years “that would belong to her absolutely” causes her to “open and spread her arms out … in welcome” (2). Louise has reacted the ultimate and “strongest impulse of her being” and