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Word Count: 651
Kate Chopins short story The Story of an Hour effectively illustrates how women in the 19th century felt trapped within the confines of traditional marriage The storys protagonist is Louise Mallard a young married woman suffering from heart trouble Chopin begins with a bang informing the reader of the tragic demise of Mrs Mallards husband Brently Immediately after hearing the shocking news Mrs Mallard begins to cry and escapes to her room She does not allow others to follow In her solitude she is acutely aware of her surroundings For this brief moment we see through her eyes feel her chest heaving with emotion and we share in the grief she must surely be feeling for her newly deceased husband However Mrs Mallards sadness is transformed into a sense of freedom a feeling that seems to overwhelm her at first She welcomes this new feeling with joy No more will she live in her husbands shadow living her life for him She remembers Mr Mallard with fondness but immediately begins to look forward to her newfound liberation As the reader is starting to cultivate emotions about the character of Mrs Mallard either sympathy for her plight or disgust for her lack of grief Chopin adds a twist Mrs Mallard and her sister Josephine are descending the stairs Mrs Mallard is lost in a world of hope and dreams a world without her husband Suddenly the front door opens and Mr Mallard enters unscathed and very much alive It turns out he was far from the railroad accident that they believed took his life earlier that day Chopin does not go into detail about Mrs Mallards reaction to seeing her husband but given her resulting death we can presume that she was both shocked and dismayed So what was this heart trouble that afflicted Mrs Mallard Chopin describes Mrs Mallard as young with a fair calm face There are no other indications of ill
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