Story Of An Hour
Freedom in ?The Story of an Hour?
Mrs. Mallard?s overwhelming response of ?free, free, free!? upon hearing of her husband?s death reflects the attitude of many nineteenth century women. During this time, highly restrictive gender roles forbade women to live as they saw fit. In ?The Story of an Hour? Kate Chopin allows her audience to envision the moment that Mrs. Mallard is able to shed the bondage of marriage that was forced upon her. This was Mrs. Mallard?s chance to actually live life on her own terms. Not on the terms prescribed to her by her husband. After this revelation on her behalf, the outcome of the story is both ironic and tragic.
Upon hearing the news of Brently?s death Mrs. Mallard, who is afflicted with a heart condition, reacts with sadness at first, grieving with ?wild abandonment? but shortly afterward seeks solitude to assess what has happened. The location where she seeks isolation is important. She retreats to her bedroom in a comfortable armchair, indicating that this is a place where she feels safe. It is here that Mrs. Mallard seems to have found a way to rectify what she
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