Story of an Hour

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“The Story of an Hour” In Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” the apparent death of the husband signifies a major turning point in the life of Mrs. Mallard. Until this time, she has been a possession of her husband’s, much alike to his clothing, and she now realizes that she is free. For Louise Mallard, the illusive death of Brently Mallard is her rite of passage into a new, free life. …

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…else, incapable of making her own decisions, disempowered. This knowledge and all of the connotations that go with it make up “the joy that kills.” (p. 538) Louise Mallard is unable to continuing living the life she had before the illusory death of Brently, having once tasted how lovely freedom is. Knowing that she can never achieve that wonderful feeling of freedom again, she has to die, for she cannot live unless Brently Mallard is dead.