The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

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What is the internal conflict in "The Story of an Hour"?

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Louise Mallard knows she should feel pain and sadness at her husband's reported death. She does feel that sadness and loss, as her late spouse was a good and kind husband to her. Her internal conflict is that she also feels a rising sense of joy and liberation; she realizes she is free. For the first time in her life, she can be her own person and do what she wants.

The widow "script" tells her she should feel nothing but grief. This is the social expectation. She herself is startled at the great mix of feelings she is experiencing. Nevertheless, she is able to acknowledge her conflicting emotions, especially her joy.

It is only after her husband returns and she discovers that reports of his death were mistaken that she can't resolve the many conflicting emotions that arise in her. At this point, she suddenly dies.

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Domenick Franecki eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The internal conflict that Louise Mallard, the protagonist , endures is in relation to the news that her husband has died suddenly in a train accident. At first, she feels...

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