THE STORY OF AN HOUR In Kate Chopin s The Story of an Hour, a young woman, Mrs. Mallard, experiences a tragedy, which brings about a personal revelation, which is followed by a devastating blow! A woman of the early 20th century, I believe this because travel by train is mentioned. (2) Peddlers crying their whares, (2) and the term Latchkey (21) are also used. The time frame is important because it leads me to believe that Louise more than likely went from being a daughter to being a wife. Louise has always been under someone else s rule so to speak. Louise, a wife (2), is informed of her husband s death. Shocked more by the actual news than by the fact, she cries for a while and then seems to be done with it. (She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance.)(3) Her reaction reminds me of how I felt when I got a divorce. I had a fear of the unkown. Even though life is far from perfect it becomes comfortable, complacent, the thought of changing the pattern is scary! Alone in her room, Louise begins to realize just what her husbands death will mean. The scary feeling of the unknown comes over her. (13) She knows she will miss her husband. He wasn t a bad man, just a man. (She knew she would weep again when she saw the kind, tender hands folded in death;)(9) Something else is there, a new feeling, but what? (There was something coming to her and she was waiting for it, fearfully, what was it?)(9) I think it was a revelation, something never experienced, freedom, or the thought of freedom. (11) Louise s feelings up to this point are not those of death or the gloomy dark feeling that comes with it. She is experiencing feelings of newness, bright, open big! The open window, a comfortable roomy chair, birds singing, blue skies, (5) everything that would signal a feeling of rebirth if you will. I think that when Louise accepts that she will be free, it hits her in an almost orgasmic way! (Her pulses beat fast, and the coursing blood warmed and relaxed every inch of her body.)(11) The thought of actually being able to live a life for herself, free of another s impositions had to be a wonderful revelation for Louise! For that precious moment in time, an hour, Louise was alive. (No ;she was drinking in the very elixir of life, through that open window.)(18) Can anything be more devastating than to have it all taken away from her? It would be like getting your own apartment then having to move back in with Mom and Dad cause you lost your job! Poor Louise s situation was worse. Her husband wasn t dead at all! (21) Louise was said to have died of a joy that kills, so happy to see her husband alive it killed her. I believe she died of the exact opposite. Kate Chopin s The Story of an Hour is a wonderful story. The death of Louise s husband may be a bit extreme, but the idea behind Louise s thoughts and feelings is clearly understood, especially if you happen to be a woman!