Kate Chopin, author of "The Story of an Hour" does tremendous work in painting women's cry, within the 1900s, for more individualistic and unsuppressed roles within society. Chopin uses imagery and one key feature to portray this need for individualism. This key aspect is the fascinating character of Louise. Mrs. Louise's marriage is an important factor within this story, this combined with the excitement that Louise feels despite losing her husband to an accident is really significant. This recognition of the possibility of finally being able to live for herself, is rather unique and surprisingly helpful to the reader in a bid to better understand the significance of the story i.e. the issues regarding freedom and autonomy of women at the time. .
Chopin begins by using imagery in mentioning Louise's physical features as well as her weaknesses. The protagonist is young, fair faced and that she is physically fragile due to her heart condition "Knowing that Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heartthe news of her husband's death." (Page 1). These characteristics do little to portray Louise as a unique individual and only form an appearance by describing Louise as a weak main protagonist. Later on though, Chopin does brilliant in using imagery to depict Louise's actual thoughts. The spring weather outside window represented as a blossoming future is easily understood by the reader "There were patches of blue sky showingwest facing her window." .
The use of imagery is not the only key element of "The Story of an Hour". Through the actual actions of Louise, our main protagonist. It is revealed that she is a freedom seeking, self-assertive individual rather than a newly widowed, weeping wife "free, free, Free!" (Page 2). At this point, readers can imagine Louise as a caged bird ready to spring to life as soon as the cage is opened! It also can be implied that life without the chains and the bindings of marriage would stop undermining Louise's free spirit and help her in the need for a life without anything holding her down.