The Story of an Hour Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 27 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Story of an Hour.
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Identity and Selfhood

Chopin deals with the issues of female self-discovery and identity in "The Story of an Hour." After Mrs. Mallard learns of her husband's death, she is initially overcome with grief. But quickly she begins to feel a previously unknown sense of freedom and relief. At first, she is frightened of her own awakening: "There was something coming to her and she was waiting for it, fearfully." Her own feelings come upon her, possessing her. When she first utters the words "free, free, free!" she is described as having "abandoned herself." But after she speaks these words, she relaxes and gains more control over herself. As she imagines life without her husband, she embraces visions of the future. She realizes that whether or not she had loved him was less important than "this possession of self-assertion" she now feels. The happiness Louise gains by this recognition of...

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This section contains 380 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Story of an Hour Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Story of an Hour from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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