The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

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In The Story of an Hour, how "free" was Mrs. Mallard before she knew about the train accident?

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"The Story of an Hour" is one of Kate Chopin's most anthologized short stories. As with most of her work, it focuses on the plight of women and how they are very often held captive (essentially) to the wills of the men in their lives. Mrs Mallard is, in this story, no exception.

The tragedy of Mrs Mallard's existence is that it is only when she thinks her husband has been killed that she realizes how little freedom she had when she was with him; although she at first grieves his passing, she also comes to recognize that, without him, she could gain a freedom which has since been lost to her. Unfortunately, and ironically, this is not to be, as Mr Mallard turns out not to be dead at all—at which point shock and disappointment kill his wife.

Chopin describes her protagonist 's lack of freedom before the accident by indicating how Mrs Mallard feels when she realizes that freedom...

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