One Blessed Hour

In Kate Chopin’s, “The Story of an Hour”, the theme associated with this short story is oppression.   In the late nineteenth century, society expected women to keep house, cook, bear and rear children, but little more. Despite efforts of women’s rights activists such as Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony, women still had not received the right to vote in national elections by the century’s end. Moreover, employers discriminated against women by hiring them for menial jobs and payed them less than men for the same work. The Story of an Hour hints that Mrs. Mallard’s husband, a typical husband of his day, dominated his wife.
In the nineteenth century women were struggling and fighting for their rights, which only white males possessed. Times were different and so were state of minds. Men thought they were inferior to women. Brently Mallard was just another typical husband, dictating his spouse. Mrs. Mallard’s first reaction is grief when she hears the news of her husband’s tragic railroad accident, but soon finds joy and freedom.   Natalia Dagenhart writes, “She realizes that society would determine her thoughts of freedom inappropriate, but she can't stop herself to feel that way. A calm soul is necessary for a human being and is more important than society standards. Feeling happy she just proves this thought.”
Through this disastrous marriage, Louise confided in absolutely nobody.   Her close friends and family did not know what she was going through. For one blessed hour, Louise believes Brently to be dead, and in her own mind sets about rebuilding her future, imagining her infinite possibilities. “ Spring days, and summer days, and all sorts of days that would be her own”(24). Throughout these depictions of a life that would belong to her absolutely,   Brently Mallard walks through the front door, safe and sound. Mrs. Mallard dies of an instant heart attack. She anticipated a life of freedom and happiness, she was going to get it, even if...