Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” was a work ahead of its time. In an age when feminist freethinking was not widely accepted, it described the dark, innermost thoughts of the female protagonist. “The Story of an Hour” featured descriptive thought processes, sidestepped sexist taboos, and provided commentary on the sheltered life of women in an unwelcome time period. The lead character, Mrs. Mallard, underwent several thought processes over the course of the short story.
Initially appearing deeply saddened, Mrs. Mallard was described as completely skipping the denial phase in her sorrow. After brooding alone in her room, she began to have a delightful realization. She was “body and soul free” from her husband’s controlling marriage. She then begins to look ahead on the bright days life holds for her, a vast change from the depressing view on life she had before her husband’s demise.
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Then, Mrs. Mallard promptly died from shocking sight of her very alive husband entering through the front door. All of the described emotions absorb the reader into the complex mind of poor Mrs. Mallard. Aside from the introspective lead female character, “The Story of an Hour” introduced the unthinkable concept of a woman being unhappy with her marriage.
But not only was she unhappy about it, she was extremely overjoyed at the thought of her husband being dead. This was certainly not a favorable concept in the society to which this short story was released. In the late 1800s, a woman’s marriage to a man was her declaration of love and undying devotion to her.