The Story of an Hour

Korina Bartlett
Kira Wages
ENG 1020
The Story of An Hour
In “The Story of an Hour,” Kate Chopin suggests that Mrs. Mallard is an intelligent woman who is in a loveless marriage. She is burdened by the age old view that when you marry, you lose who you are in every sense of the word. “The Story of an Hour” illustrates the feministic view of the unrealistic expectations that society placed on women upon marriage in the nineteenth century.
Women in the nineteenth century were expected to not have an identity distinct from that of their husband’s. Mrs. Mallard was no exception. Her life was built around that of her husband’s. In “The Story of an Hour,” Kate Chopin states that “there would be no powerful will bending her in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow creature.” (Gwynn 73) This suggests that Mrs. Mallard was indeed a woman who was not supposed to have any other identity and no independent thoughts. She did not see life independently either. Her view of the world was that which was expected of her and was indeed her husband’s.
Mrs. Mallard’s happiness was dependant on that of her husband’s. The author suggests that she is unhappy with her current life, but see’s brightness without her husband. “Her fancy was running riot along those days ahead of her. Spring days, and summer days, and all sorts of days that would be her own.” (Gwynn 73) Again, Chopin suggests that she does love her husband “sometimes,” but her future feels bright with the news of his death. She notices the beauty all around her, as if for the first time. It was if a dark cloud covered her soul and now was lifted. She was seeing things anew.
Women of the nineteenth century, who were married, were fragile and lifeless to a degree. Mrs. Mallard has a heart trouble. “Great care was taken to break to her as gently as possible the news of her husband’s death.” (Gwynn 71) Mrs. Mallard did not see herself as...