The Story of an
Kate Chopin
English 11
The Story of an Hour
Kate Chopin
Kate Chopin
 Wife, mother of 6
 Considered scandalous for a woman of her
 “Ahead of her time”
The Awakening (ended her career)
Exploring women’s freedoms
You have 10 minutes to read this short story.
Number the paragraphs. (there should be 20)
Define unknown words (use your phone)
Box characters as they are introduced.
Look for symbols.
The Story of an Hour
Kate Chopin
refers to the time elapsed between the moment
the protagonist gets the news of her husband’s
death and then discovers that he is alive after
The Story of an Hour
Kate Chopin
Mrs. Louise Mallard is the protagonist of the
story. She is introduced as being "afflicted with
a heart trouble", which is why great care is
taken in telling her of her husband's death. She
mourns her husband, but then begins to feel
relieved and liberated.
Mr. Brently Mallard is assumed dead until the
end of the story when it is revealed that the
news of his death was a mistake.
The Story of an Hour
Kate Chopin
Josephine is Louise's sister who tells Louise of
her husband's death. She embodies the
feminine ideals of the time, acting as the picture
perfect wife figure.
Richards represents the standard image and
expectations of the man during the time period responsible for protecting women. However, he
fails which could have been a bit controversial
for the time period.
The Story of an Hour
Kate Chopin
An ironically detached and melancholy tone.
Louise’s reacts with bitter joy.
 His death represents freedom from her role as
a wife.
The Story of an Hour
Kate Chopin
Time period
Story was considered controversial during the
Deals with a female protagonist who feels
liberated by her husband’s death.
In Unveiling Kate Chopin, Emily Toth argues
that Chopin "had to have her heroine die" in
order to make the story publishable.
The Story of an Hour
Kate Chopin
Women's Liberation Movement
A housewife, who has been confined to the social
norms of the obedient wife, has an unorthodox
reaction to the death of her husband.
She thinks of her newfound freedom and is
invigorated by it.
This idea is one of the key values of the feminist
movement, and thus "The Story of an Hour" was an
important literary work to show a woman breaking
from the norm of society.
The Story of an Hour
Kate Chopin
Marriage vs. Freedom
Mrs. Mallard believes that both women and men
limit each other in matrimony.
The story focuses on the individual's inner
desires for freedom.
Louise's desire for freedom far exceeds her love
for him - a controversial idea that goes against
the norms of society.
The Story of an Hour
Kate Chopin
Spring –This symbolizes a new beginning which
represents life and that is what Mrs. Mallard gains
as a widow. It also helps to note that spring comes
after winter.
Mrs. Mallard’s Heart: She dies of heart failure
triggered by overwhelming emotional stress. No
one will ever know that the overwhelming emotional
stress was due to her loss of hope for the future.
“She did not hear the story as many women
have heard the same, with a paralyzed
inability to accept its significance. She wept at
once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her
sister’s arms. When the storm of grief had
spent itself she went away to her room alone.
She would have no one follow her.”
What would be the expected response?
“She could see in the open square before her house
the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new
spring life. The delicious breath of rain was in the air.
In the street below a peddler was crying his wares.
The notes of a distant song which someone was
singing reached her faintly, and countless sparrows
were twittering in the eaves”
Why did Chopin mention that it is spring?
“When she had abandoned herself, a little whispered
word escaped her slightly parted lips. She said it
over and over under her breath; ‘Free, Free, Free!’
The vacant stare and the look of terror that had
followed it went from her eyes. They stayed keen
and bright. Her pulses beat fast, and the coursing
blood warmed and relaxed every inch of her body”
What is Mrs. Mallard’s victory? Explain why
she says, “Free, Free, Free!”
“There would be no one to live for during
those coming years; she would live for herself.
There would be no powerful will bending hers
in that blind persistence with which men and
women believe they have a right to impose a
private will upon a fellow creature.”
What is the conflict Mrs. Mallard faced?
What is the resolution?
“She arose at length and opened the doors to
her sister’s importunities. There was a
feverish triumph in her eyes, and she carried
herself like a goddess of Victory.”
What does Mrs. Mallard decide in this moment?
“He stood amazed at Josephine’s piercing cry;
at Richards’ quick motion to screen him from
the view of his wife. But Richards was too late.
When the doctors came they said she had
died of heart disease- of joy that kills.”
How does the story end?

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