The Story of an Hour :: Summary and Response

Mary Evinger
Ila Lloyd English 111
February 3, 2014

The Thrill of Freedom

“The Story of an Hour” is a short story by author Kate Chopin (1851-1904) written around April 19, 1894, and it had been originally published in Vogue on December 6, 1894 as "The Dream of an Hour". ( Chopin was an American writer of French and Creole descent. She had five sons with husband, Oscar. Many of her best stories are about people and places in Louisiana with her most famous novel being The Awakening. (Reid p 526 ) The story begins with Josephine trying to figure out the best way to break the news to her ailing sister, Mrs Mallard, of her husband’s death in a railroad disaster. Mrs Mallard is young, but she suffers from a heart condition.
We are then pulled into the story by getting an almost first-hand description of how Mrs Mallard is feeling about receiving this news and how she may be accepting it. She instantly starts weeping.
Mrs Mallard finds that, even though she is deeply saddened by the devastating news of her husband’s death, she suddenly feels free and prepared to be starting a brand new life and adventure. She begins to think about and looking forward to this new world of freedom and set of experiences over the coming years. She was dreaming for a long time of being out on her own and worrying only about herself. She reflected on the fact that she only sometimes loved her husband, that she did not feel that love for him all of the time and was constantly yearning for something more than her married life offered her. She peers out the window and thinks these thoughts and dreams these dreams, when her sister comes to her door and begs her not to make herself ill, and she then declares that she is not. Mrs Mallard then joins her sister and begins descending the stairs to meet with her husband’s friend.
Upon doing this, they see that someone is opening the door, when the door is opened, they gaze upon a travel-worn Mr Mallard, who is...