For me, the “Story of an Hour” brought back to me the trials and tribulations people go through in life. Kate Chopin does a fantastic job in displaying this through the use of Louise Mallard. The story first introduces her to us only by the name of ‘Mallard’ which is a form of irony because she is suffering from an illness at the same time. In addition, she is soon greeted by the news that her husband had had a fatal accident which is usually the case in some people’s lives. It is like a string of evil things happening concurrently to a person.
After learning about her husband’s death, the depiction of the arm chair where she goes to sit displays a flicker of hope which was not to be as we soon realize from her imaginations how relieved she was to be finally. It is like she was going to be free from the controlling nature of a relationship. Louise kept whispering “Free! Body and soul!” and this shows the emancipation she had gained (Chopin, 1894). It seems to me like the husband was imposing his wills on her at times (Chopin, 1894).
As she focuses keenly on how empty her life will be with nothing to live for, an awakening comes to her of how free she will be. There is some twist in the story for a while as Louise is depicted as a victor after realizing how free her husband’s death had set her. The peak of tribulations is viewed at the end of the story where Brently Mallard walks in to the house to everyone’s amazement. We are told he was very far from the accident and had not even heard about it (Chopin, 1894). Louise on the other hand is overcome with grief and dies as she had already envisaged herself being free from his control. Louise reaction at the end of the story really astonishes me as it was unexpected although I finally had to come to terms with it as she had explained it adequately.
Chopin, K. (1894). The Story of an Hour.