The Story of an Hour starts with a death and ends with a death. The first death is an accident that has supposedly happened to the protagonist's husband on the railroad. Everyone is alarmed that the shock of his death will kill the protagonist because she has a weak heart. Unknown to them, the protagonist is happy her husband is dead; not because she didn't care for him, but because it means that she will have a greater freedom than any she has ever known. Unfortunately, her joy is short lived as her husband walks into the home quite alive. His death had been misreported and in sudden shock from finding him alive and her dreams of freedom dashed, the protagonist keels over, dead from a heart attack.