What is the plot of "The Story of an Hour"?

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"The Story of an Hour " isn't a particularly deep and robust story in terms of plot. Plot is defined as the events that make up a story—and not a lot actually happens in this wonderful short story. Mrs. Mallard is told that her husband has been killed. She...

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"The Story of an Hour" isn't a particularly deep and robust story in terms of plot. Plot is defined as the events that make up a story—and not a lot actually happens in this wonderful short story. Mrs. Mallard is told that her husband has been killed. She immediately begins crying, and then she retreats to her room, presumably to continue mourning in private.

She 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. She would have no one follow her.

It's here that the story takes a dramatic shift. Mrs. Mallard realizes that while she is sad that her husband is dead, she is also quite happy and excited at the newfound freedom that she has now been given.

There would be no one to live for her during those coming years; she would live for herself. 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.

Once composed, Mrs. Mallard exits the room and returns to the public spaces of the house. As she is doing this, her husband walks in the door. He hasn't actually been killed in an accident. Mrs. Mallard is so shocked or devastated that she dies on the spot.

When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease—of joy that kills.

While the plot may not be overly robust, it is Mrs. Mallard's character development that really makes this story so great. The changes that she goes through in such a relatively short amount of time are astounding, and this story typically leads to wonderful discussions about the roles of men and women, as well about what a healthy marriage should look like.

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"The Story of an Hour" is a very brief short story about one hour in the life of Louise Mallard. As the story begins, her sister Josephine and her husband's friend Mr. Richards have come to tell Louise some bad news. They are very careful about how they give her the news because Louise has a heart condition, and the shock could kill her. Finally, they manage to tell her that her husband has been killed in a train wreck.

Louise does not have a heart attack, but she does need time to be alone. She locks herself in her bedroom and considers what to do now. Surprisingly, she is not devasted by her husband's death. Instead, she feels a sense of freedom that now she can have her own life. When she decides to leave the bedroom, she has a renewed feeling of optimism rather than grief.

However--and I won't give away the ending--as Louise descends the stairs she receives the shock that her heart cannot withstand, and she dies instantly.

This is a great story to make you wonder "what if?" and "why?"

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You asked two questions and I can only answer one according to enotes regulations. This story by Kate Chopin really isn't that long, so I would encourage you to read it to gain a sense of what happens, but for a basic summary read on.

We are presented with Mrs. Mallard who is "afflicted with a heart trouble" and whose husband has just been killed in an accident. Her sister tells her and is rather worried about the impact of this news. Mrs. Mallard initially shows great grief, and then locks herself in her room. As she looks out of the window and contemplates the death of her husband and her new state, she begins to feel incredibly liberated and whispers to herself the words "free, free, free!" Although she loved her husband and genuinely mourned him, she would be able to "live for herself now." As she contemplates her new life she opens the door to her sister and as she goes out of her bedroom she has a look of "feverish triumph" in her eyes. She goes down the stairs to be surprised by her husband who had not been in the accident. Mrs. Mallard drops dead with the shock.

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