In the 1894 story, "The story of an Hour", Kate Chopin appeals to the reader's sympathy, when the lead character, Mrs. Mallard, receives the news of her husbands "tragic death". Even though Mrs. Mallard loved her husband, once the wave of grief passed she began to daydream of her life as a "free" woman. When her husband walked through her doorway alive, all of her fantasies came to abrupt end. Her heart failed her, resulting in her own death. The author uses characterization, to appeal to the reader's senses, thoughts, and feelings, to develop the theme of a nineteenth century woman's desire for equal rights. .
The author uses characterization throughout the story to appeal to the reader's senses. Mrs. Mallard was conveyed as different from most women by not being "with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance" (3), when referring to her reaction to the news of her husbands death. The "storm of grief" (3) as she wept, shows Mrs. Mallards sudden passionate response to the death. Another hint at the difference in character of Mrs. Mallard to other women was the desire to be alone in her room when most would turn to family and friends for comfort. "She would have no one follow her" (3).
Chopin brings the integrity of the young wife's love for her husband into question, as the occasional sob fades with the realization that she will no longer lead the repressed life of the pre-women's rights era. Mrs. Mallard's integrity is somewhat restored when she tried to resist the "something"(9) that came "creeping out of the sky"(9) "to possess her"(10). She used what inner strength she possessed to try to will herself to resist. When she finally abandoned herself and welcomed the feelings that were overpowering her she uttered the words "Free, free, free!" The sheer exaltation of her life before her as a free woman caused her to dismiss any doubts as to the appropriateness of her feelings.