In 1984, Kate Chopin published a short story titled “The Story of an Hour”. The name of the narrative alludes to the period of time during which Louise Mallard, the protagonist of the story, first finds that her husband, Brently, has passed away. Later on in this story, Brently discovers that he is still alive. In “The Story of an Hour,” the female protagonist experiences liberty after learning of her husband’s death, which was controversial by American norms in the 1890s.
The independence of a woman is one of the core topics explored in “The Story of an Hour.” Louise’s response to Josephine and Richards revealing the news of Brently’s passing may be perceived as being overtly aggressive for a woman during the time, but it is still understandable (Chopin). Louise reacts with obvious anguish at the revelation. However, when she is by herself, Louise starts to understand that she has become independent, and this news works to make her happy and lively (Chopin). Initially, she attempts to suppress the positive feelings despite the fact they occur within her own thoughts, essentially in order to “fight it back with her will” (Chopin). Her reaction depicts the strictness and forbidden nature of her happiness in being a solitary woman during her era.
Louise’s independence is unknowingly taken away from her when Brently returns, making it once more out of her reach. One of the fictional elements of this short story is the setting since, over the course of the story, Louise does not leave the room in her house. Only Mr. Mallard enters or exits the house during the story’s hour-long timeline (Chopin). As a result, there is a feeling of constraint and restraint. Moreover, it creates a mysterious atmosphere where the reader wonders about Louise’s feelings. The return of her deceased husband is the main element of fiction in the “The Story of an Hour.”
The plot of this short story is one of the most crucial aspects of a fictional work. Although the story’s beginning and end happen very rapidly, they do not read as hurried or lacking. In the scene during which Louise is informed of her husband’s death, the part of the story that might seem a little unbelievable is when “she wailed at once, with quick, wild abandonment, in her sister’s arms” (Chopin). Chopin compares her and numerous other women who, when informed that a loved one has departed, will either deny the truth or give in to a state of disbelief. The reader speculates that Mrs. Mallard’s earlier tears of mourning may have been tears of joy, given the later admission that she has always felt oppressed by her husband and is consequently ecstatic at the hearing of his death. The fictional element of this story is the sudden death of her husband and his return from the dead. Through this literary device, the author shows how much Louse enjoyed being a free woman and how this pleasure was taken away from her.
In summary, after learning of her husband’s passing, the female lead in Kate Chopin’s short story “The Story of an Hour” enjoys liberation. This kind of joy has no place in Louise’s life and will never be accepted or understood by society as a whole. The events in “The Story of an Hour” flow logically and the plot is easy to follow. Because of the unique circumstances that made it possible for Louise to taste this forbidden fruit, she has exaggerated thoughts. Even if the forbidden treat disappears as quickly as it appeared, simply tasting it is enough to kill her.
Chopin, K. “The Story of an Hour.” VCU.