Katherine O’Flaherty Faris (1850-1904), better known as Kate Chopin, was an American author of novels and short stories. Her writings stand out for her descriptions of the southern society of the time and for exploring the inner world of women at the end of the 19th century. In the short story “The story of an hour”, Louise Mallard receives the news that her husband has died in a railway accident. To the surprise of her sister and her brother-in-law, Mrs. Mallard goes to her room to be alone, but not to cry but to enjoy her freedom. Mr. Mallard’s death, to Louise, means that she can now be herself. “And yet she had loved him–sometimes. Often she had not. What did it matter! What could love, the unsolved mystery, count for in the face of this possession of self-assertion which she suddenly recognized as the strongest impulse of her being”(story of an hour.) Mrs. Mallard is now a widower; and the thought of being on her own, brought her joy. The emotion in this story is the satisfying freedom she has, now that her husband is gone.
In the beginning of “the story of an hour” it says that Mrs. Mallard has a weak heart. “Knowing that Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble, great care was taken to break to her as gently as possible the news of her husband’s death.”(story of an hour.”) This means that everybody has to behave nicely around her. She has to be handled gently so that her heart doesn’t get a shock, or she could die. This results in instant and constant dramatic tension. It must have been very hard for Josephine, Mrs Mallard’s sister, to have to inform her sister that Mr. Mallard had passed away. Josephine didn’t want her sister to die, but at least she died happy at the end of the story.
Before Mrs. Mallard’s death, she was projecting spring and summer days to come, a feeling that her life would be her own again gave her a contentment that she had not felt in a very long time. No one actually knew what Mrs. Mallard had experienced behind her closed door. Although, the human heart was meant to deal with that much pain, joy and disappointment in one day never mind one hour. To her sister (Josephine) it would appear that she died of joy when she saw her spouse was not dead. The truth was buried with Louise. Tragically, what seemed to be great joy was a grief felt for her freedom that had been so short lived.
In conclusion, Mrs.Mallard was able to feel what it’s like to be free again. She felt free, just how she was before getting married. Even Though the roller coaster of emotions was too extreme for Louise’s’ fragile heart to bear, she did die peacefully and full of joy. No one will ever know that she died because of the joy she felt from being free again. People are governed by their emotions. Trying to control them has never been something that the human race has been able to accomplish.