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Female Independence in The Story of an Hour

            In Kate Chopin's short story, "The Story of an Hour," Louise Mallard is introduced as the housewife who has a heart condition and has recently discovered the "death" of her husband. When Mrs. Mallard was told about her husband's death, she was initially emotional, but because of her husband's death she reaped freedom and was over joyed. Unfortunately, once she learns that her husband is not dead, instead of exulting her husband's return she regretted abandoning her moment of freedom. This short story demonstrates the issue of male dominance and the role of woman in marriage in the society during her time. Kate Chopin portrays inside this story the lack of women's freedom in the 1800's.
             Mrs. Mallard represents a negative view of marriage by becoming overjoyed that her husband has died. But if the two telegraphs would not have been heard then Mr. Mallard would have made it home way before the news could reach his wife. During this time period, the telegraphs was the fastest communication. "The story would be equally impossible without the technology of the telegraph" (Foote 87). It seems as if Louis has a deep inner-life that is not connected to the outside world and now that her husband has died those feelings have become more important. The outside world is not described much in this short story but the life she wants inside her mind is lively. There are instances throughout the story where irony is used to convey Louise's happiness and the overall message is that her marriage is constraining. The fact that she dies at the end from a heart disease is symbolic of the "disease" that marriage can hold. Like a disease, she does feel free unless the agent, her husband, is no longer present. The fact that this troubles her heart and nothing else on her body deeply shows the true misery that is inside of her. "And yet she loved him-sometimes. Often she had not.

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