This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by professional essay writers.

Women as Possession of Husband: The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

downloadDownload printPrint

Based in the late nineteenth century, The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin is about a woman’s reaction to the news of the death of her husband. Though there are several feelings associated with this devasting news, Mrs. Mallard experienced a sense of euphoria. It then becomes clear to the reader that Mrs. Mallard was unhappy being married and was looking forward to her future as a widow. The author presented elements of irony and symbolism in writing which reflected the mindset of the main character and what she represented. Chopin, as a female writer, expressed the concerns relating to feminism and society at the turn of the century. The independence of a woman was non-existent as women’s identities and interests were extinguished in a male-dominated society.

The “Story of an Hour” is a short story that relatively took place in the space of an actual hour. It is ironic how Mrs. Millard received and reacts to news to the news of her husband’s death. The news of Mr. Millard’s death was delivered in a gentle manner by Mrs. Millard’s sister and her husband’s best friend, due to her heart condition. Her grief was immediate and in the arms of her sister. After her sudden crying, Mrs. Mallard went to her room to be alone, where she sat facing the open window and observed the world outside seeing the new life that came with spring ‘While in her room, she sobbed herself to sleep and dreamt of herself being “young with fair and calm face.” It is safe to wonder why it is that at a time of mourning, this new widow is not more distraught than she is.

Additionally, it is plausible that though Mr. Mallard, who only ever looked at her with love and kindness, their marriage was not a love match. “She knew she would weep again” indicates that she is sad that he died, as one would express sadness for an acquaintance, but she is not sorry that her husband is dead. “And she loved him—sometimes. Often she had not” shows that Mrs. Mallard was not happy and may have felt oppressed during her marriage, having lost the identity of who she truly was. The realization that she was now a free woman was heady, and she welcomed the fact that she would be living her life for herself.

Chopin’s use of symbolism was identifiable in every paragraph and which placed a strong focus on feminism in society during that era. This short story hints on the repression and oppression that women struggled with. After escape into her room, Mrs. Mallard saw facing an open window, a comfortable, roomy armchair. This armchair represents the fact that Mrs. Mallard was comfortable or had accepted the fact that her husband was dead. The open window through which she looked symbolizes her freedom. She was not free of the marital control that was placed on her or free to be her own woman and to live her life the way she dreamt.

Additionally, outside her window, there was the “top of trees that were all aquiver with new spring life.” Spring symbolizes a time for new growth new beginnings as well as a time to start over. these were all possibilities that Mrs. Mallard was no embracing and looking forward to. “There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence which men and women believe they have the right to impose a private will of on a fellow creature.” This is a testament to how oppressed she felt like a woman. Her husband dictated her life, decisions were not hers to be made freely, and the household revolved around him and his preferences. The vision that she had of her future was not one that included children or remarrying as she was looking forward to living for no one but herself during the coming years.

When her sister, Josephine, called to her to open the door and not to make herself ill, she thought to herself that no, she was drinking in the very elixir of life through that open window. Josephine, for the first time, uses her sister’s given name, which is Louise. This allows the reader to identify who Mrs. Mallard is. Her title, Mrs., is an extension of her husband, while Louise is a woman who is independent, self-reliant, and self-assured. She is now able to carry herself like the goddess of Victory, having sacrificed much being married and has now been granted freedom from the constraints of matrimony and to an extent, society.

Chopin’s use of irony is not lost in how Mrs. Mallard dies. Feeling free and happy, one would say that Louise is stepping out into who she is and whom she represents which is now a woman who is looking forward to her life ahead of her. At the sight of her husband Mr. Brently Mallard entering the house little travel stain, Mrs. Mallard collapses and dies. The doctors said that “she died of heart disease —-of the joy that kills.” For the one hour of life, Louise experienced pure joy. With her husband being alive that new self-discovery was short-lived. There was no freedom for her, and she had no desire to go back to the shackles that were shook off within that hour.

In conclusion, The story of an Hour emphasizes the concept that women were considered the possession of her husband. Husbands subsumed the legal rights of women in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The constraint of her marriage caused Mrs. Mallard to be dissatisfied and resentful of her marital status. Until the moment she realized that she was a widow, Mrs. Mallard had accepted her lot in life as it was mandatory to have complete dependence on one’s husband. The author used irony and symbolism throughout the story to communicate her thoughts on the limited rights granted to females and the lack of gender equality.

Remember! This is just a sample.

You can get your custom paper by one of our expert writers.

Get custom essay

121 writers online


Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.

Your time is important. Let us write you an essay from scratch

experts 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help you just now

delivery Starting from 3 hours delivery

Find Free Essays

We provide you with original essay samples, perfect formatting and styling

Cite this Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Women as Possession of Husband: The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin. (2023, February 09). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 24, 2023, from
“Women as Possession of Husband: The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin.” GradesFixer, 09 Feb. 2023,
Women as Possession of Husband: The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 24 Mar. 2023].
Women as Possession of Husband: The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Feb 09 [cited 2023 Mar 24]. Available from:
copy to clipboard

Where do you want us to send this sample?

    By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.


    Be careful. This essay is not unique

    This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

    Download this Sample

    Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts


    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.



    Please check your inbox.

    We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!


    Hi there!

    Are you interested in getting a customized paper?

    Check it out!
    Don't use plagiarized sources. Get your custom essay. Get custom paper

    We can help you get a better grade and deliver your task on time!

    • Instructions Followed To The Letter
    • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
    • Unique And Plagiarism Free
    Order your paper now