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Aware that Mrs. Mallard was suffering with a heart trouble, great concern was in use to break to her as gently as possible the news of her husbands death. Mrs. Louise Mallard, Chopin's main character, feels the elation of freedom rather than the despair of being alone after she becomes aware of her husband's death. Published in the late eighteen hundreds, the harsh life of marriage in "The Story of an Hour" could rightfully be a dead ringer of that era, although not restricted to it.
Chopin exposes the story by means of a narrator's voice. The narrator is not merely a spectator, in spite of this. The narrator understands, for instance, that Mrs. Mallard, for the most part, did not love her husband. It is evident that the narrator knows further than can be actually observed. Chopin, however, in no way tells the reader what Mrs. Mallard is feeling. As an alternative, the reader must gaze into Mrs. Mallard's events and expressions in order to comprehend what Mrs. Mallard is going through within.
Mrs. Mallard is enslaved by her marriage. The appearance of her face "bespoke repression." When Mrs. Mallard gains knowledge of her husband's death, she knows that there will "be no powerful will bending her." There will be no husband who believes he has the "right to impose a private will upon a fellow creature." Mrs. Mallard identifies that her husband loved her. Brently had only ever looked at Mrs. Mallard with love. This information implies to the reader that Brently is not a terrible man; he basically deems that it is his right, and possibly his responsibility as a husband, to direct Mrs. Mallard in all she does. When Mrs. Mallard discovers of her husband's death, she takes in that he will no longer be there to hold her back. Finally she is free. Subsequently, in a shocking disappointment, everything she has just realized and started to look forward to is seized from her grasp.
Upon learning of her husband's death, Mrs. Mallard realizes that she is now free. She repeats the words "Free, free, free!" and feels her body come alive. Her pulse beats faster; her blood runs warmer; her eyes brighten. Mrs. Mallard knows that from now on she can live for herself and no one else, that "all sort of daysâ€¦ would be her own." Mrs. Mallard sees the chance to live out the rest of her days for herself; she sees the opportunity to be her own person. Mrs. Mallard now looks forward to a lengthy life. She had previously feared the time ahead spent under the thumb of her husband. Now though, Mrs. Mallard is someone who has much to look forward to and many joys to appreciate.
When Mrs. Mallard walks down the stairs with her sister she has triumph in her eyes. The front door opens however and Brently walks in. What effect does this have on Mrs. Mallard? It kills her. Mrs. Mallard has, in a very short time, realized the world is a wonderful place and that she can live in it anyway she chooses. She gains freedom, independence, individualism, and a whole host of things to look forward to in life. When Brently walks in the door though, Mrs. Mallard knows that she will have to spend the rest of her life as enslaved. She knows she will never be free. This is too much for Mrs. Mallard to grip. Life had been gloomy before, with her looking onward to the years ahead "with a shudder."Now that Mrs. Mallard thought of what life might have been without her husband, the idea of going back was unbearable. When Mrs. Mallard discovers that her husband Brently wasn't killed, she realizes that all anticipation of freedom is finished. The devastating distress kills Mrs. Mallard.
Her spirit is sent souring by the new freedom to which she can look forward in absence of the obligation towards her husband. Epiphanies are not reversible. Once she has made the recognition, there is no going back. Were she to return to her previous state of life upon the discovery of her husband's survival, the impact of Chopin's theme would have been severely dampened. Permitting for a simple change and a happy ending would have wrecked the practicality of the circumstances; Mrs. Mallard would have been predicted to complete her fixed role in the society during that time period. The most successful method was to make use of Mrs. Mallard's heart condition to bring the story to a believable and communicative end. When the doctors came, they said she had "died of heart disease-of the joy that kills."