The short story “The story of an hour” written by Kate Chopin was published in Vogue in the year 1894. The story is based on a theme of independence and self-assertion. The protagonist of the story is Mrs. Mallard who was a heart patient. Her husband Mr. Mallard died in an accident, and the family members of Mrs. Mallard started trying to tell her the bad news of her husband’s death. The condition of Mrs. Mallard is feeble after she was diagnosed with heart disease. Any shock or sudden situation could impact her negatively.
Due to her heart condition, no one is ready to tell her the bad news, then this step is initiated by the sister of Mrs. Mallard who told her gently the truth. Her reaction was evident, as she cried a lot in her sister’s arm. When she tired, she left everyone and locked herself up in her room. She went in front of her window and started looking outside. It was the weather of spring, and the writer wonderfully described the weather.
It was drizzling, and there was the smell of rain spread all over the outer part of the house. The weather and its surroundings impacted positively the sadness of Mrs. Mallard. She started thinking that how she will spend her life next? She loved her husband, and he loved her too, but now he died and left her alone in the world. Fears, sadness, and grief of her husband’s death made her feel terrible.
But after a while, she realized that she is free. She is free from every relationship, and now she could spend her life with her will and be able to fulfill her desires. Her sadness and grief ended after the realization of freedom and independence. She felt the feeling of liberation which surrounded her deeply. She started wondering if she might need a long life because she is free now and could live on her own. The feeling of freedom and self-assertion was perfect for her in that situation as she seemed a bit relaxed.
Mrs. Mallard’s sister started knocking on the door of her room with the fear that the news could get her sick. So, she started asking her sister to open the door. Mrs. Mallard assured her sister that she would not get sick and she should stop worrying about her. At last, she opened the door and came out. Her sister got relaxed after assessing her situation. At the same time someone arrived in the room, it was Mr. Mallard, and everybody was shocked after seeing Mr. Mallard alive. He came home safe and sound, and he was the one who safely returned from the accident. This situation turned the whole scenario, and everyone present in the room felt happy and relieved (Chopin, 1894).
But the story again takes a hilarious turn when Mrs. Mallard fell to the floor instantly. She died in the place at once and did not give anyone a chance to understand the situation. On one side Mr. Mallard arrived, and on the other hand, Mrs. Mallard falls to the floor and dies on the spot. She does not give anyone a chance to take her up to the hospital. The doctors told the family members and Mr. Mallard that she could not bear the happy situation and due to her heart disease, she died with happiness (The Story of an Hour Summary).
This short story consisted of many turns and sudden situations. The writer does not allow his audience reader to sit back and relax. The turns of the story showed an hour situation in which the audience never expected the end. The whole events of the story are ends up in just one hour.
The writer of the story pictured the story uniquely. It showed the scenario of a woman who is old having heart disease and gets the news of her husband’s death. After a while of sadness, she realized about her freedom and liberty which makes her happy and she started wondering if she should live a long life. But her happiness ended up when she saw her husband alive in front of her, and due to her heart disease and the end of her happiness about freedom, she died on the spot.
The story shows that Mrs. Mallard is a woman who needs freedom and independent life, although she loves her husband, her liberty is more important to her. She survived after getting the news of her husband’s death but could not last one minute when she saw him alive, and the thought of ending her liberty took her life. Mrs. Mallard needed an independent life more than the presence of her husband with her. She died just because she needed freedom and liberty which she never gets until her husband is alive.
The story tells the importance of liberty and independence. Some people want independence and self-assertion more than anything else. Like a bird who wants nothing but freedom.
“The Story of an Hour Summary.” Shoomp.com, Web. 7 September. 2017.
Chopin, Kate. “The Story of an Hour.” Archive.vcu.edu. 6 December. 1894. Web. 7 September. 2017.