The Story Of An Hour By Kate
?The Story Of An Hour? By Kate Chopin Essay, Research Paper
“ The Story of an Hour “ by Kate Chopin is about a young woman with a serious heart condition that finds out her husband is killed. She reacts very different to the news then a wife would react to their husband’s death. She loves her husband but is not happy with her life. After the tragic news, she envisions her life as being fuller. She sees the severity of her heart condition, but prays that she will now live longer. This story is more about her realization of her existence and her beginning to cope with her dieing rather than being completely about her husband dieing.
When her friends and family tell Mrs. Mallard of the tragic news they try to tell her as gently as possible because they know she has a very serious heart condition. She hears that her husband has been killed, but reacts in a strange and unusual way. She does not give herself time to think upon the subject, but immediately starts sobbing because that was the reaction she thought she should give. She is grieving, but is over come with an immense sadness. Chopin writes; “ she did not hear the story as many women have heard the same…she wept at once” (paragraph 3). This was not a reaction of just emotions, but also of how she thought she should react in front of her family and friends.
After locking her self in the solitude of her bedroom she begins to recognize things that one would not think of after a loved one just passed away. “ She could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life (paragraph 5).“ This is the point at witch she begins to deal with the grieving process, but also starts to realize the beauty of life. She begins to see that there is so much more to live for.
“ She sank, pressed down by a physical exhaustion that haunted her body “(paragraph 4). She tries to sooth her hurt and pain for she can see the toll it is taking on her heart. She can feel her heart starting to fail her, but she starts to envision her life as being better. The fact that her life can be taken away at any second (just as her husbands was) is making her want to life her life to the fullest. “ There were patches of blue sky showing here and there through the clouds that had met and piled one above the other in the west facing her window” (paragraph 6).” The clouds piled on top of each other represent her heart problem, her husband’s death, and the other bad things that have bombarded her at once. The patches of blue sky represent the hope of her new and better life that she wants to begin, the hope that things can get better. “ She breathed a quick prayer that life might be long. It was only yesterday she had thought with a shudder that life might be long. (Paragraph 19) “
Death was coming to get her, but she was trying to beat it away. “ There was something coming to her and she was waiting for it fearfully. She felt it, creeping out of the sky. (Paragraph 9).” This shows that she could feel herself weakening and beginning to die but she wished for her life strongly and she feared her death. “ Her bosom rose and fell tumultuously” (paragraph 10), she is starting to become very worried. She can feel death reaching out his arms to take her. She is trying to beat away death, but she is no power compared to the strength of God. “ She was striving to beat it back with her will- as powerless as her two white slender hands would have been” (paragraph 10).
She starts to feel that she will be free if she dies. That she will be free of pain and in a better place than she was before. The terror of death that she feared before is fading and she is starting to feel the pleasant warmth of death. “ Free, free, free, the vacant stare and the look of terror that had followed it went from her eyes. They stayed keen and bright…the coursing blood warmed and relaxed every inch of her body. (Paragraph 11)” She knows that she will be sad that she has gone, but death to her felt much more safe. She was no longer scared. She now looked at death in the eyes with a smile. “ She saw beyond that bitter moment….she opened and spread her arms out to them in welcome (paragraph 13).” When she says, “ there will be no one to live for her during those coming years; she would live for herself (paragraph 14)”, she means that she was going to live her last days to the fullest.
Then, she starts to think back on her husband and that she had loved him, at least most of the time, but she didn’t want to think about that she was free. Free from him and free from hurting. “ Free! Body and soul free! (Paragraph 16)”
Her sister begins to worry about her and tells her that she is going to make her self sick by staying locked in the room and thinking about her husbands death. She was doing the very opposite. She was freeing herself she was beginning a new life one that belonged to her, one that she would control. She was thinking about all the things that she had to live for,“ spring days, summer day, and all sorts of days that would be her own (paragraph 19)”.
She finally opened the door. “ There was a feverish triumph in her eyes, and she carried herself unwittingly like a goddess of Victory (paragraph 20).” She had fought the battle of life, health, the death of her husband, and she was a peace with her self. She came out of the room and clasped to her sister’s waist. This shows she was starting to weaken, but she fought the battle and won. She could now face death fearless and strong.
The fact that her husband was standing at the bottom of the stairs was not the cause of her death. It was her time to die. “ Richards’ quick motion to screen him from the view of his wife, but Richards was too late. (Paragraph 21& 22)”
The irony of the story is that her husband is alive, but she is dead when he reaches home. The tragic death of her husband help her to grasp the beauty of life and the fact that she does not have much more time to live it. In an hour of time she comes to peace with herself and wins her “battle”.