The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

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In "The Story of an Hour" why does Mrs. Mallard seem happy about her husband's death?

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According to the story, Mrs. Mallard realizes she is happy at the news of her husband’s death shortly after receiving it. This epiphany happens as she looks out her bedroom window at the beautiful spring afternoon: a renewal of life that mirrors the renewal she anticipates as a widow.

Another poignant quote that illustrates the reason for her happiness is when the narrator explicitly criticizes marriage as oppressive:

There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature.

Although Brentley Mallard treated his wife affectionately and fairly, Louise still felt stifled and controlled. Perhaps she had never really been interested in marriage but...

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