Kate Chopin’s The Story of an Hour is a brilliant short story of irony and emotion. The story demonstrates conflicts that take us through the character’s emotions as she finds out about the death of her husband. Without the well written series of conflicts and events this story, the reader would not understand the depth of Mrs. Mallard’s inner conflict and the resolution at the end of the story. The conflict allows us to follow the emotions and unfold the irony of the situation in “The Story of an Hour.”
The story begins with the passage; “Knowing that Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble, great care was taken to break to her as gently as possible the news of her husband's death.” The conflict of the story begins here. Mrs. Mallard must be informed of her husband’s death, but there is worry about the condition of her heart and how she will react to the news. The next passage, “It was her sister Josephine who told her, in broken sentences; veiled hints that revealed in half concealing,” explains how this initial conflict was resolved. Two people, both close to Mrs. Mallard and Brentley Mallard, came to inform Louise of the bad news. The information was released to her in broken sentences as hints. This means that they did not walk in and tell Mrs. Mallard her husband had died. They used great care to walk around the subject, to lead Mrs. Mallard to her own conclusion that her husband was now dead. (Chopin)
The conflict continues in the next passage, “She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance. She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister's arms. When the storm of grief had spent itself she went away to her room alone. She would have no one follow her.” (Chopin) Mrs. Mallard was immediately conflicted with her emotions towards the death of her husband. Her emotions overtook her immediately and she was forced with the realism of the situation. She went to her room and would have no one follow her, because she needed to deal with this conflict alone. Though others were there who cared for her and wanted to help her through this hard time, Mrs. Mallard knew that she would be best left alone to resolve her emotional conflict.
The story goes on to explain the emotions that Mrs. Mallard goes through when she is in her room alone, going over the news she had just received. This is the part of the story when the conflict turns from outward to in; a conflict with the character against the situation to a conflict between the character and herself, or the character and her emotions. The passage; “ She was beginning to recognize this thing that was approaching to possess her, and she was striving to beat it back with her will--as powerless as her two white slender hands would have been. When she abandoned herself a little whispered word escaped her slightly parted lips. She said it over and over under the breath: free, free,...