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The Story of an Hour

by Kate Chopin

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What attitudes distinguished the points of view of Mrs. Mallard and those who are concerned about her welfare?

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After she receives the news of her husband's death, Louise Mallard understands that she is actually much better off, emotionally, than she ever was when her husband was alive.  Though she knows that he loved her, she can only focus on the fact that she is now "'free, free, free!'"  Despite the fact that their relationship seemed relatively happy, she felt that her will always had bend to his; the Victorian wife had no real identity of her own, and she was forced to allow her husband to make all decisions for their family and livelihood.

Louise's sister and friend, however, are more concerned about her physical well-being.  They are concerned, especially, when she locks herself in her room.  They believe that she has a heart condition, and they are most concerned that the news that her husband has died could kill her as a result of this condition.  Richards even attempts to shield Brently Mallard from his wife's view because he worries that shock of seeing him after she's been told he's dead would kill her; ironically, he's right, but not for the reason he believes. 

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