The Story of an Hour Questions and Answers
by Kate Chopin

The Story of an Hour book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Describe Louise’s feelings upon the death of her husband in "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin. Then, describe her feelings when her husband returns home.

Upon learning of the death of her husband in "The Story of an Hour," Louise is initially overcome with emotion, and she cries violently. In her upstairs room, Louise recognizes that she is free from Brently's suffocating presence and society's oppressive conventions, which fills her with a sense of joy and hope of a better future. Louise is then overcome with despair when she discovers that Brently is alive and that her future as an independent woman is completely shattered.

Expert Answers info

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write10,185 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

When Louise Mallard first receives the news of her husband's death, she violently weeps with "wild abandonment" and cannot control her emotional outburst. Louise experiences a storm of grief and powerfully mourns before she retreats to her room upstairs. While Louise sits in her comfortable armchair and stares out the window, she begins to notice the patches of blue sky through the clouds, which symbolically represent a hopeful future and optimistic outlook on life. Louise then recognizes that she is completely free to experience life as an independent, driven woman who is no longer subject to her husband's oppressive personality. She also realizes that she is free from society's marital conventions and can exercise her personal agency for the first time in her life.

As Louise stares out the window and contemplates her bright future, she begins to whisper "Free! Body and soul free!" (Chopin, 2). Louise is no longer filled with grief but is overwhelmed with a sense of joy, hope, and...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 933 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write16,150 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write16,848 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write35,413 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial