Type: Literary Analysis
Pages: 2 | Words: 469
Reading Time: 2 Minutes

“The Story of an Hour”by American novelist Kate Chopin describes a life of a young married woman Louise Mallard, who lived in the late nineteenth century and an unusual accident with her husband. As it is known, society in nineteenth century perceived the image of a woman as a housekeeper, who could not be interested and take part in anything except the house, cooking and family. Such social standards and limits often resulted in the development of depressed state and isolation among women and wives particularly at that time. The main character of Kate Chopin’s short story is perhaps an example of a typical wife, whose husband is certainly dominating in their relationship. Isolation is mainly related with the lack of contact between individuals, certain social groups or social classes, and Louise Mallard certainly experiences difficulties in maintaining contact with others as such binding relations in the family make her feel oppressed.

Louise Mallard is an average woman, who does not actually control her life and is greatly dependent on her husband. She experienced constant stress during her marriage and she is overwhelmed with freedom, when she finds out that her husband is dead. When Louise Mallard came to know about her husband’s death, she isolated herself in the room and in some way enjoyed her long-awaited freedom. Author’s description of the setting, weather, and the view from the window helps to better understand Mallard’s emotions. She looked out the window and “she could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life. The delicious breath of rain was in the air”.

Kate Chopin’s main character Louise Mallard had been searching for freedom for a very long time. Isolation seems to be the only way out for her. She believes that she can feel free only when there is no one near to oppress or control her. Louise is not indifferent to her husband, but the constant feeling of oppression and numerous limits make her choose loneliness and isolation. She tries to escape from the rules and pressure that exists in the society of the nineteenth century. Moreover, when her sister Josephine asks Louise to come out, she refuses to do this as she feels happy only when she is isolated in her room. This is a great opportunity for her finally to think of her true wishes, desires and hopes. However, the fact that her husband is alive and she is still oppressed makes her die of a heart break as she cannot escape from this harsh society.

Kate Chopin’s short story “The Story of an Hour” perfectly depicts the difficult life of a woman and her role in the society of the nineteenth century. The author makes an emphasis on isolation as the only way to find happiness.

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