The Story of an Hour
Written by: Kate Chopin
The Story of an Hour
Mrs. Louise Mallard
Josephine (Louise’s sister)
Brently Mallard (Louise’s husband)
Richards (Brently’s friend)
A lot can happen in an hour!
Louise Mallard has heart trouble. Her sister Josephine and her husband’s friend Richards use caution when informing her that Brently had been killed in a railroad disaster. Richards had used care to verify the incident. A second telegram had confirmed the sad communications, originally received in the newspaper office with Brently Mallard’s name at the top of the list.
Louise immediately started to weep and flailed in the arms of her sister. After a while she went off to herself, and did not let anyone accompany her.
As she looked out of the window reflecting on the enormity of the situation she observed the environment; a spring day, abundant with life: a peddler hawking his wares, someone singing, birds tweeting, etc.
Louise looked into the sky, at patches of blue sky in the clouds. She sat serenely on a chair with only an occasional sob breaking the quiet. Her thoughts turned to the future. She realized she was not powerless without her husband. These thoughts revived her. She now began to say over and over, under her breath: “Free, free, free!” Her pulse quickened and her body felt alive.
Louise now realized that her future belonged to her and her alone. “Free! Body and soul free,” she kept whispering.
Her sister Josephine was now kneeling at the door of Louise’s room, asking her to come out and not to make herself sick. Louise told her to go away, that she was not making herself sick. Louise was now cognizant of the fact that she once wondered how long she would have to live with her husband. Now she was wondering how much more time she might have and praying for more time.
Soon she came out and wrapped her arms around Josephine’s waist and they walked down the steps to join Richards, again.
Soon, someone was opening the front door with a key. In walked Brently, her husband, casually. He was unaware of the accident. Richards tried to shield him from Louise, but was too late.
Later, when the doctor came he said Louise had died of heart disease.