In "The Story of an hour" by Kate Chopin do you agree or disagree with this statement "Mrs. Mallard is a weak woman." Explain why why notIs she at fault for any of the weaknesses you identified...

In "The Story of an hour" by Kate Chopin do you agree or disagree with this statement "Mrs. Mallard is a weak woman." Explain why why not

Is she at fault for any of the weaknesses you identified emotional,physical,or mental

Expert Answers
Doug Stuva eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mrs. Mallard in Chopin's "The Story of an Hour" is not a weak woman. 

She has a weak heart, but that's not really what we mean when we talk about someone being a weak person.

Mrs. Mallard is a female trapped in a man's world.  Her society dictates gender roles, and she is obligated to comply with them.  She is obligated to be subservient to her husband.  Her subservience is not a sign of weakness.

In fact, I would say she's mentally strong.  Most people would go along with what's expected when a husband dies.  They would play the role of the grieving widow, and their minds would conform to the role.  They would start thinking about all of the good times they had with their spouses and fall into self-pity.  Mrs. Mallard does not.  To use a cliche, she has the strength of her convictions. 

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am not completely certain that I see her as weak.  Upon finding out of her husband's supposed death, she spends time alone and begins to conceive of a new life.  Her belief in her autonomy and newly found sense of voice as well as the elements that go with it are not behaviors of someone scared.  Instead, she contemplates vividly of what might be.  This is not something of someone who is weak or scared.  Instead, she has a level of bravery about envisioning her life with the absence of her husband.  This helps to enhance the idea of her strength, as she does not seem to be dependent on him once she understands what his absence could mean about her presence.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I generally agree with the statement that Mrs. Mallard is a weak woman in Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour." Her heart is obviously weaker than her spirit, which is revived when she hears the news of her husband's death. She has obviously been bullied by her husband, but such was the case with many (if not most) of the women of the 19th century, male-dominated society. It appears that deep within her was rooted the courage to start a new life without her spouse, but her weak heart never gave her the opportunity to begin anew. 

mkcapen1 | Student

I do not think that she was a weak woman but rather one imprisoned by the men in her life.  Her imprisonment eventually began to make her weaker so that she did decline.  Having a bad heart does not necessarily make someone weak.  It was also not uncommon for a woman in the era she lived in to be told that she had a weak heart even when she did not.

The male dominated society expected the women to be weak and frail.  The situation left her trapped not frail.  We

see her true spirit when she believes her husband is dead and she begins to see herself as free and she becomes stronger.  The irony is that it is her husband's appearance that again makes her weaker.

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The Story of an Hour

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