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Breaking Apart the Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

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Kate Chopin's "Story of an Hour", is a short story of a man being presumed dead but is actually alive. The story takes place in Mrs. Mallard's home. Mrs. Mallard is the wife of Brently Mallard. Brently is the man who is presumed dead. Richards, who is also in the passage, is Brently Mallard's close friend of many years. Josephine, who is at Mrs. Mallard's side through the whole ordeal, is her sister. The day begins as usual. The air is filled with birds singing and trees swaying the spring air. There are few clouds in the sky and the smell of sweet rain drifting through the air. The passage is portrayed with happiness. We see a little of this happiness shown as the narrator, Kate Chopin's, says, "There was a feverish triumph in her eyes, and she carried herself unwittingly like a goddess of Victory" (228). There is also amazement and awe at the sight of Brently Mallard walking in the door, because throughout the story everyone believes he is dead. The plot as a whole is an evident one: a woman, Mrs. Mallard, is happy her husband, Brently Mallard, is dead then she is devastated he is alive.

As we start to read the passage we see Mrs. Mallard as being a women trapped, then set free because of her husband's death. We see this freedom through the words of the narrator as Mrs. Mallard says, "she said it over and over under her breath: "free, free, and free!"(228) Mrs. Mallard is afraid at first because her husband has been killed, then all sadness seems to disappear. Mrs. Mallard seems to of accomplished something from Brently's death. The death of Brently is not a curse but a triumph. She was happier her husband was dead because she could be her own person now and did not have to listen to anyone else telling her what she could or could not do.

The narrator, Kate Chopin, brings a suspenseful vibe as well. As Mrs. Mallard makes her way down the stairs everyone seems to be waiting for something to happen, and happen it does. The narrator brings suspense as she says, "someone was opening the front door with a latchkey" (228). We can see from this statement that Kate Chopin's passage is going from happiness and sadness to surprise and awe. The person walking in seems to surprise everyone,-for example, "he stood amazed at Josephine's piercing cry; at Richard's quick motion to screen him from the view of his wife. But Richard's was too late" (228).

All the commotion was too much for her. Mrs. Mallard was so devastated by her husband's appearance that she fell down immediately and died. The narrator uses a good statement as she says, "when the doctor's came they said she had died of heart disease- of joy that kills" (228). Why did Mrs. Mallard really die though? Many readers may ask that question but the truth lies in the story. Mrs. Mallard thought her husband was dead and began to be happy and feel free,



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