Back to: The Story of An Hour by Kate Chopin
Table of Contents
The entire story is about the events that take place within the duration of an hour. From the news of the train accident to the death of Louise, the whole story is wrapped up within those sixty minutes. Thus, the title is justified as the story of that action and grief packed sixty minutes.
The main complication arises when Louise learns about the train accident. There is resistance inside Louise’s heart. She, in spite of being sad for her husband’s death, is ecstatic to start a life as an independent woman.
The conflict arises in the story with the news of a train accident involving Brently Mallard. His wife Louise suffers from a weak heart and it falls on her sister and friend to break the sad news to her without causing her to go into a shock.
The story climaxes with a realization of freedom dawning over Louise. She grows over the feelings of loss and despair and accepts her independence with a gleeful expression. She is ready to embrace her freedom and begin a new chapter of her life.
In the end, Brently returns alive and Louise loses her newfound freedom. Her heart explodes not because of sheer happiness (as suggested by the doctors) but because of the grief of being dragged back inside the cage of marriage.