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In "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin, the wife seems to grieve the death of her husband, but as she sinks down into her comfy chair, she actually cries tears of joy that her marriage is over. The most significant moment of the story comes with her realization:
There would be no one to live for 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. A kind intention or a cruel intention made the act seem no less a crime as she looked upon it in that brief moment of illumination.
Behind the locked door, she whispers, almost as if she's afraid to say it aloud that it might be proven untrue, that she is free. Clearly, Mrs. Mallard did not feel as an equal in her relationship with her husband. The "powerful Will" is that of her husband; she perceives her relationship with him as that of a yoke, a restraint that keeps her from doing all the sorts of things she has dreamed of.
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