What does Louise's body language tell you about her feelings, emotions and actions?

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kiwi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Louise’s body language is particularly indicative of the range  of emotions she experiences in the story.

At the news of her husband’s death, Louise –

wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister's arms. When the storm of grief had spent itself she went away to her room alone.

We see the storm of emotions pass quickly as she considers the news. Once alone-

she sank, pressed down by a physical exhaustion that haunted her body and seemed to reach into her soul.

She seems tired of life, and the news initially seems to add to her torpor. However, as she considers the effect of being alone and independent, her passion for life slowly returns-

When she abandoned herself a little whispered word escaped her slightly parted lips. She said it over and over under her breath: "free, free, free!" The vacant stare and the look of terror that had followed it went from her eyes. They stayed keen and bright. Her pulses beat fast, and the coursing blood warmed and relaxed every inch of her body.

She is excited, energized and embraces a future without restraint-

There was a feverish triumph in her eyes, and she carried herself unwittingly like a goddess of Victory.

Unfortunately for Louise, her joy is short lived – ‘the joy that kills’.

Read the study guide:
The Story of an Hour

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