"The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin, set in the late 1800's to the early 1900's, begins by introducing a woman with a terrible heart condition and the tragic event of her husband's death. Considering her troubles, her friends and family endeavor to forestall her terrible misery from harming her greater. After she spent time mourning she locked herself away in her room and began soul searching. During the time the story was set in, women were inferior in a marriage and had little sense of self-government. Her newfound discovery of the outside world enlightened her senses for a new life. Although she was reluctant that she had lost the love of her life, the pleasure of freedom overtook her. She recognized that the chains that held her from her own will were now broken. She staggered out of the room filled with a tremendous amount of joy and emotion that would likely burst a balloon. Her husband then made an unanticipated arrival home, and had fortunately avoided the accident that was assumed to have killed him. The woman's immense amount of joy triggered her heart condition, causing her to die moments before her husband sauntered through the door. The central idea of this story is that a person's fascination with freedom can be so powerful that it can bring joy in death. .
The main character of the story is the wife, Mrs. Ballard. She is described to be a married woman that "was afflicted with heart trouble" (Chopin. 273). After her husband died, she began to sense a tremendous amount of freedom that caused "her pulses beat fast, and the coursing blood warmed and relaxed every inch of her body" (Chopin. 274). This feeling that consumed her altered her emotions. The grief that she should have was engulfed by the delight of her independance. Mrs. Ballard demonstrates her relief in her husband dying when she expresses she's "Free! Body and soul free!" (Chopin.