The Story of and Hour


In Chopin’s essay “The Story of and Hour,” Mrs. Mallard learns f her husbands death and at first she is very upset, then she is relieved, and then she finds out that he is alive and she dies suddenly of a heart attack.


When Mrs. Mallard was first told the news that her husband died in a train wreck she was upset. She cried right away and didn’t deny that it was true, she accepted it. Mrs. Mallard was upset not because she loved her husband but because she was afraid to be alone. She did love him some of the time but most of the time she felt as if she was a slave to him. Mrs. Mallard had been married for so long and had been told what to do for her whole life that now she didn’t know what to do. She was afraid of her future having no one to clean or cook for, no one to wait on everyday. She had been made t believe that all a woman was good for was to run a house and take care of house duties. Now her “master” was gone and she had no purpose anymore. She was unsure of her future and afraid of the new responsibilities she had.


Then Mrs. Mallard locked herself in her room to be alone. Then suddenly something came over her. She realized that she was now free to live her own life. She now looked forward to a long life when yesterday she dreaded the thought of it. Now the summer and spring days were all hers to do whatever she wanted. She could now find love and live a life she chooses. She was filled with so much excitement knowing that she now had a clean slate and she was eager to start over. She now could follow her own rules and not her husband or fathers. I think that she might have felt a little guilty for rejoicing over the death of her husband. But I do also think that she deserved this new found freedom.


After Mrs. Mallard assured herself that everything would be alright and she was ready to embrace her new life she left her room to join everyone else. As she started to descend the stairs she had a clear view of the front door. Then moments later her husband who was no where near the train wreck and had no acknowledgement that it even occurred entered the front door. Mrs. Mallard seeing her husband was alive gave out a loud shriek and collapsed. The doctors said that she had died of a heart attach, that it was “joy that kills”. I do not believe that Mrs. Mallard was joyous when she saw that her husband was still alive. No I believe that it was the complete opposite reaction. I think that Mrs. Mallard was so heart broken that her new found freedom was now lost that she had a heart attack. She was so upset to the fact the one man who has oppressed her for so long was still alive and she couldn’t take it anymore. I think that Mrs. Mallard would have rather died than live another day under her husbands rules.


To reflect on what was Mrs. Mallard’s reactions to her husband’s death. She was at first upset and saddened because he was what she lived for. And she was made to believe that she was nothing without him. Then she realized that se was something and could be free so she was overjoyed. Then the truth of her husband’s well-being was reviled when he entered the house without a scratch. This kills Mrs. Mallard because her heart broke knowing that she wasn’t really free and she died of a heart attack.