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Commentary on The Story Of An Hour Essay


The Story of an Hour

Kate Chopins, The Story of an Hour, is a bittersweet story that leaves out many details which the reader has to fill in. The story kept my attention from the first sentence until the last. My first response after reading the piece was shocking. I had many questions and conclusions. Did they have children? How old was Mrs. Mallard? How long had she had a heart condition? Emotions such as crying, shock, grief, and guilt are normal reactions when a loved one dies; therefore it was easy to sympathize with Mrs. Mallard and forgive her rather than judge her for her feelings and emotions.

Several points stood out in the story as Mrs. Mallard struggled with happiness and guilt after hearing the news of her husbands death. Although Mr. Mallard did not appear to be an abusive husband, Mrs. Mallard seemed to be unhappy in her marriage. Now, for the first time, she felt the possibility of having a future and being free from the ties of marriage as she looked out the window and saw spring and all the new life that it could bring. The descriptions used in the story are not related to death. The delicious breath of rain; the notes of a distant song; countless sparrows were twittering; patches of blue sky. These descriptions are speaking about the new life and new beginning she would have after the death of her husband.

Clearly, Mr. Mallard loved his wife in the description the face that had never looked saved with love upon her. The narrator shared in one of the quotes, And yet she loved himsometimes. Often she did not. You get the feeling from the direct and to-the-point language that Mrs. Mallard was probably controlled by her husband and did not have strong feelings for him, and the marriage was not a happy one. When Mrs. Mallard whispered, Free, free, free!, she recognized that even though her husband loved her, she felt bound by a marriage relationship, and she knew men and women often exert their own wills on each other. Even though she had loved him at times, she was an oppressed wife, much like a prisoner, who has now regained her freedom. She would now be able to live for herself and no one else. Therefore, since freedom is something we all strive for; it is easy to accept her explanation and reasoning. The story allowed me to see through Mrs. Mallards eyes and desire the freedom she desired.

After finally accepting Mrs. Mallards reaction to her husbands death, he entered the room and shocked everyone, including the reader, and especially Mrs. Mallard. She didnt have a heart attack when she heard the news of his death; however, it was when she saw him alive that she had a heart attack. The doctors explained that she died of joy; when she actually died because her freedom was short lived, and she was shocked and disappointed that he was still alive. Therefore, she would have to live under her husbands will again.

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