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Word Count: 1,192
In Kate Chopins The Story of an Hour the apparent death of the husband signifies a major turning point in the life of Mrs Mallard Until this time she has been a possession of her husbands much alike to his clothing and she now realizes that she is free For Louise Mallard the illusive death of Brently Mallard is her rite of passage into a new free life Louise cannot live unless her husband is deadWhen Mrs Mallard learns of her husbands death she not only goes straight into a period of grieving but more importantly she is not as shocked as most people usually are when they hear about a death of a close relative or friend She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance p 536 This is the first time Chopin alludes to Louise Mallards presumable lack of love for Brently Had she been truly in love with him she would never have broken into tears immediately yet instead she might have smiled a little without truly hearing the words spoken to her seconds earlier The latter is a reaction of normalcy and commonality Often times when one reacts in such a way as Louise did it means that she did not truly have a strong attachment to the deceased one Directly after her outburst of tears she locks herself away in a room also an unusual reaction for someone in her predicament And yet she had loved himsometimes Often she had not What could love the unsolved mystery count for in the face of this possession of self- assertion which she suddenly recognized as the strongest impulse of her being p537 On the more obvious side this is a direct reference to Louise Mallards lack of love for her husband yet this quote also entails the brand new feeling one receives when entering into something new such as
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