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Louise Mallard’s Demise In “The Story Of An Hour” By Kate Chopin

745 words - 3 pages

Louise Mallard’s Demise in “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin
Kate Chopin’s short story, “The Story of an Hour”, is about a woman, named Louise Mallard, in the late 1800s who is told that her husband, Brently, has died in a railroad accident. Initially, Louise is surprised, distressed, and drowned in sorrow. After mourning the loss, the woman realizes that she is finally free and independent, and that the only person she has to live for is herself. She becomes overwhelmed with joy about her new discovery of freedom, and dreams of all of the wonderful events in life that lie ahead of her. Louise’s sister finally convinces her to leave her room and come back into reality. While Louise is walking down her steps, her husband surprisingly enters through the door because he was actually not killed in the accident. At the same moment, Louise collapses and dies, supposedly from “heart disease-of joy that kills” (Chopin 706).
Many people interpret that Louise passes away from shock and disappointment from discovering her husband is actually alive. They feel that when Louise finally accepts that her husband is deceased and she discovers freedom, that seeing her husband alive causes her to get depressed, go into shock, and die. On the other hand, a more unique interpretation of Mallard’s death would be that she passed away from excitement and anxiousness from being completely independent, and having various opportunities in store for herself. Mallard may have not been able to handle the new exhilaration directly after experiencing deep depression and grief from the news of her husband’s accident. Some supporting evidence that Louise did not collapse from seeing her husband alive, is that the passage never directly states that she actually witnesses her husband walk through the door before she dies (Cunningham 2). Chopin just states that Brently’s friend, Richards, steps in front of him when he walks through the door, which means that Louise may have possibly never saw her husband alive (Cunningham 2). It is not clear why Richards hid Brently when he came in the house. Many critics interpret that Richards did so in order to keep Louise from seeing Brently arrive, while others feel that Richards may have hidden...

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