|Story of an Hour
“The Story of an Hour”
In Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” the apparent death of the husband signifies a major turning point in the life of Mrs. Mallard. Until this time, she has been a possession of her husband’s, much alike to his clothing, and she now realizes that she is free. For Louise Mallard, the illusive death of Brently Mallard is her rite of passage into a new, free life. Louise cannot live unless her husband is dead.
When Mrs. Mallard learns of her husband’s death, she not only goes straight into a period of grieving, but more importantly, she is not as shocked as most people usually are when they hear about a death of a close relative or friend. “She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance.” (p. 536) This is the first time Chopin alludes to Louise Mallard’s presumable lack of love for Brently. Had she been truly in love with him, she would never have broken into tea...