The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

The Story of an Hour book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What was Mrs. Mallard's first reaction to the news of her husband's alleged death, and what words did she use to express her later feelings? This question is from "The Story of an Hour," by Kate...

What was Mrs. Mallard's first reaction to the news of her husband's alleged death, and what words did she use to express her later feelings?

This question is from "The Story of an Hour," by Kate Chopin.

Expert Answers info

Jennings Williamson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)


calendarEducator since 2016

write6,541 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

Louise Mallard's first reaction to the news of her husband's death is a "storm of grief" that spends itself quickly; she then retreats to her bedroom, alone. We learn, from the narrator's description of this response, that Louise had reacted unusually: "She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance." In other words, Louise doesn't react the way most other women have or would have.

As she sits, alone in her room, the narrator describes all the signs of "new spring life" that Louise sees outside of the window. This is another clue to Louise's unusual reaction: she notices only the pleasant things. She sees the "tops of trees that were all aquiver" and the smells "delicious breath of rain . . . in the air." She hears someone singing far away as well as the "countless sparrows . . . twittering in the eaves," and she sees that there are "patches of blue sky" showing through the clouds. It is as though what is happening...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 578 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Doug Stuva eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write1,751 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

bullgatortail eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write7,077 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial