“The Story of an Hour” published the 6th of December of 1984 by American author Kate Chopin leads the reader to a story of freedom, and death. It focuses on the mix of emotions that Mrs. Millard experienced after acknowledging the passing of her husband and how the author uses imagery and symbolism to allow the reader to connect with Millard emotional process. Although the ironic story is not long it carries a deep sense and meaning for the time it was written, a time with highly limiting roles for women that didn’t allow them to live as they please.
In the story Chopin shows how Millard experienced something that not everyone had the luck to have back in that time, the joy of a woman independence and freedom that the readers understand at the end of the story. The emotions of the now widow are reveal in three stages; first moving forward from pain, the joy of a new found freedom, and last the despair of the loss of that new found freedom. As told in the beginning of the story to the reader Mrs. Millard had a heart condition, so Mrs. Millard’s Sister, Josephine, and her husband’s friend, Richard, broke the terrible news to her “as gently as possible” believing that Mrs.
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Millard would react in such a way that worsen her condition. Chopin makes the reader to expect that Millard reaction was going to be upset and worries that with her anguish the heart condition may get worst. However, her reaction to the terrible news is just her first response to it without yet knowing and deeply comprehending what has happened and how is going to change her life.
The reader can see the process on how Mrs. Millard comes to realize and what help her to understand it. After calming down herself Mrs. Mallard went to her room and stood facing “the open window” in comfortable roomy chair. In this part of the story the author uses imagery by creating a comfortable setting so the reader could feel in tone with Mrs.
Mallard situation. Sitting in the roomy chair she starts feeling smells and hearing sounds she had never felt before, things that we only feel when we are happy. However, she is afraid of feeling joy about her new found freedom and she was willing to make it go away, this shows that Mrs. Mallard was a product of her time and is trying to feel was is socially accepted in that time. Although she was not happy with her husband because she could not have her own opinion or will to do something which are the reason she felt the joy of being free of her marriage.
In the 19th century society wouldn’t accept a divorced woman, but widows for some reason were well accepted and put in higher status in society. Mrs. Mallard is on shock realizing that now she is free from her husband and now she has a higher place in society, looking ahead to “years to come that would belong to her absolutely” with these words Chopin makes the reader feel the emotions and joy that Mallard was feeling.
Eventually, Mrs. Mallard leaves the room like a goddess of victory and expecting all sort of days just for herself.