English 4C Character Analysis Mrs. Mallard is a character from the short story “Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin. “Story of an Hour” outlines the conflict back when society didn’t accept divorced women, but it accepted widows and we realize that being a widow is the only way for Mrs. Mallard to achieve freedom. Mrs. Mallard is free or so she thought at the time. Mrs. Mallard demonstrates her freedom by rejoicing in a comfortable, roomy armchair, “Into this she sank”.
Here we see two things which make us feel that way; “a comfortable roomy armchair” as a symbol of comfort in spite of her husband’s death, and “the open window”, which here symbolizes connection to the world. Mrs. Mallard, feeling guilty about her happiness also knows that she would weep again when she saw her husband’s, “tender hands folded in death” but it’s just a reaction. The reason why Mrs. Mallard feels this way about her husband’s death is that, “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”.
These words show the picture of Mrs. Mallard’s family life. She was unhappy with her husband; she couldn’t have her own opinion and couldn’t show her own will, that’s why she is happy to be free! Mrs. Mallard, who had numerous years under her husband’s will, finally gets a miraculous freedom, which she even didn’t hope for. Expecting “spring days, and summer days, and all sorts of days that would be her own”, Mrs. Mallard goes out of the room as a “Goddess of Victory” and here is the irony. Mrs. Mallard’s husband arrives home carrying his grip-sack and umbrella composedly.
He is carrying it “composedly”, because he doesn’t even know about the accident and that his name is on the list of those who died. When Mrs. Mallard realizes her husband is still alive she dies of “joy that kills”. These words carry the absolutely opposite meaning, of what read. We understand, that the doctors are wrong, thinking that she dies from happiness of seeing her husband’s again. She chooses rather to die than to live again under her husband’s will, especially after experiencing freedom, even just for one hour.