The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

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How does Mrs. Mallard change from begining to end in "The Story of an Hour"?

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Erin DuBuque eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The short story "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin tells of Louise Mallard, a young wife afflicted with heart trouble who hears that her husband has been killed in a railroad disaster. She goes up to her room to process the news on her own. At the end of the story, it is revealed that her husband is still alive. He enters the house while his wife is descending the stairs, and she falls and dies of a heart attack.

Mrs. Mallard goes through a profound change in the course of the narrative. At the beginning of the story, when she first hears the news, she is in the mindset of the subservient wife; she automatically weeps at the loss of her husband.

However, when she goes up to her room to mourn alone, she sits down in a chair facing the open window. Outside she sees the fresh life of springtime, feels a hint of coming rain in the air, and hears the cry of a peddler, a person singing, and sparrows twittering. She marvels at the clouds in the blue sky.

She slowly comes to realize that...

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