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story of an hour

            The Story of an Hour (By Kate Chopin).
             Louis, Missouri, Kate Chopin was to experience an unusually tragic childhood. Through unbelievable circumstances she lost her mother, father, two brothers and grandmother, within the first 12 years of her life. Left an orphan, she was educated and looked after at The Academy of the Sacred Heart convent. After graduating, she quickly married and filled her familial gap with the six children that followed. After the death of her husband in 1882, she returned to St. Louis where she was encouraged to begin writing professionally. In the following ten years she published two novels and two collections of short stories. Her honest and blunt views on sexuality and slavery, and her espousal of Darwinism created much controversy and eventually saw her works removed from libraries and the public eye. Chopin died in 1904 and remained unknown until the 1960's. .
             "The Story of an Hour- is an early work of Kate Chopin, telling of a woman trapped and possibly abused in a repressive marriage. The clues alluding to this repressive marriage are nicely arranged in a progressively less-subtle chain throughout the story. The story begins not by introducing the main character (Mrs. Mallard), but rather by a casual and detached explanation of the situation. This is perhaps the first and most subtle clue to the oppressive treatment Mrs. Mallard is used to receiving; she is treated as a secondary character by the author. An equally subtle clue is the fact that her husband's full name quickly shows up in the beginning of the story, while the main character is only referred to by her married name (Mrs. Mallard). With this, the author automatically places Mrs. Mallard under the reign of her husband. Chopin goes on to describe the unusual manor with which Mrs. Mallard reacts to the news of her husband's reported death: "She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same,".

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