illustration of a woman in a dress standing as if she were in shock

The Story of an Hour

by Kate Chopin

Start Free Trial

Which quotes from "The Story of an Hour" reflect the wife's feelings about her marriage?

Quick answer:

In "The Story of an Hour," Kate Chopin uses Mrs. Mallard's own thoughts to paint a picture of her feelings toward her marriage. She seems to grieve at first, but as the story progresses, it is clear that she is happy to be out of the bondage of her marriage. She tells herself that she can now live for herself and will no longer have to bend under the weight of her husband's rules and opinions. The short story "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin is definitely one worth reading!

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

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.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial