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Sartre once shrewdly said “Hell is other people,” in the short story “The Story of an Hour,” Kate Chopin presents us with a regularly unheard perspective of marriage. Mrs. Louis Mallard, the main character, experiences the elation of freedom other than the desolation of loneliness after she finds out about her husband’s death. Later, when she finds out that her loved one is dead, Brently still lives, and she realizes that all the expectations for freedom are gone. The really devastating disappointment kills Mrs. Mallard. Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour,” shows the oppressive nature of marriage through Mrs Mallard’s setting’s reflection, the over-control that Mrs. Mallard’s loved one had over her, and the liberty she feels upon her husband’s apparent death.

After discovering that her other half is dead, Mrs. Mallard demonstrates a progression from sadness to hopefulness, a radical change that Chopin shows through her description of the setting. In the beginning, Mrs. Mallard cries, but quickly looks herself alone in her room. Watching out the window, Mrs. Mallard “Could see the open square before her house the tops of the trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life. The delicious breath of the rain was in the air” (2). Mrs. Mallard instantly notices the new growth and the life of springtime, which mirrors her new life that now could be possible after the loss of her husband. Regularly, a recent widow would not be using words like “delicious,” to describe the world around them soon after hearing that a loved one is dead. However, Mrs. Mallard feels that she has gotten away from the oppression of her adored one and is starting to find a new world, a world of hers to love and explore. While Mallard’s perspective of nature and Chopin’s portrayal of the setting reveal her true feelings.

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Mrs. Mallard is being kept back in her marriage. The lines on her face “bespoke repression” (1). When Mrs. Mallard discovers that her other half is dead, she realizes that there will “be no powerful will bending her” (2). There will be no spouse who believes that he has the “right to impose a private will upon a fellow creature” (2). Mrs. Mallard acknowledges that her other half loved her, Brently had only ever looked at Mrs. Mallard with love (2). This information implies to us the readers that Brently is not a horrible man; he is simply raised in a period where most men were taught to coordinate their spouses in everything they do. So, Brently felt the commitment to direct Mrs. Mallard in everything she did during their marriage. When Mrs mallard knows that her husband’s death, she understands that he will no longer be there to press her; there will be no one, to spare her, to guide her will. Then, in a blink, all that she has recently realized and begun to look forward to is stolen from her grasp.

Upon learning that her significant other is dead, Mrs Mallard realized that she is free. She repeats the word “Free, free, free!” (2) and feels her body come alive. Her pulse beats faster; her blood runs warmer, and her eyes brighten (2). Mrs. Mallard knows that from now and on she can live for herself and no one else, that “all sort of days…would be her own” (3). Mrs. Mallard now perceives a new chance to live out and remain her days for herself; she sees the opportunity to be her own individual. Mrs. Mallard now looks forward to a long and joyful life. She had previously feared the years ahead spent under the thumb of her husband (3). Now, however, Mrs. Mallard is someone who has a lot of anticipation, and many joys to appreciate. This possibility is taken from her just as her chance of freedom is taken from her when she sees that Brently still lives. When Mrs. Mallard sees Brently walking through the front door, the disappointment and the devastation of the loss that she suffers cause her heart to fail. At the point when Mrs Mallard walks down the stairs with Josephine her sister, she has triumph in her eyes (5). The main door opens, and unexpectedly Brently walks in. What impact does this have on Mrs. Mallard? It kills her. Mrs. Mallard has, in a very brief time, understood that the world is a wonderful place, and she can live in it any way she chooses. She gains independence, individuality, liberty and an entire host of things to look forward to in life. When Brently walks through the doors, thought, Mrs Mallard knows that now she will have to spend the rest of her days as no more than his wife(slave). She realizes that she will never be free. This is a lot for Mrs. Mallard to deal with, life had grimed before, with her anticipating years ahead “with a shudder” (3). Now that Mrs. Mallard has tried what life might have been without her other half, the thought of resuming her former life is unbearably grim. When Mrs. Mallard sees that her loved one is alive, she dies, killed by the devastating disappointment of losing everything so as the late idea she had gained.

Mrs. Louise Mallard experiences the elation of liberty after she is notified that her loved one is dead in “The Story of an Hour.” Mallard’s heart condition is used to foreshadow the fact that she will not be able to survive the shock of her husband’s death. Later, when Mrs. Mallard discovers that her other half is alive, she realizes that all hope of freedom is gone. The devastating disappointment kills her. I believe that the oppressive view nature of marriage in “The Story of an Hour” likely could be a reflection of marriages in the late eighteen hundreds.  

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