ISC Story of an Hour Workbook Answers
Discuss the appropriateness of the title of Kate Chopin’s ‘The Story of an Hour”.
Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” is a story of self-discovery and identity. The story deals with the inner lives of sensitive and daring women. It beautifully portraits male domination and confinement of a woman after marriage.
As the title “The Story of an Hour” suggests the life changing events that can take place within “an Hour”, such a short period of time. Chopin explores entire life of Mrs. Louise Mallard, the protagonist of the story. The entire range of Louise’s emotions from the moment she head of her husband’s death to his eventual reappearance has beautifully depicted in the story.
The story begins with the news of Mrs. Mallard husband’s death which was given to her hesitatingly because of her heart disease. Thus, the whole story resolves around in “an Hour” following the news of her husband’s death. On hearing the tragic news, Mrs. Mallard “wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister’s arms”. When the storm of grief had spent itself she went away upstairs alone to her room. She feels something which she never felt before. She stood, facing the open window. She saw in the open square before her house the top of trees shaking with new spring life and air was seems to be filled with delicious “breath of rain”.
She started discovering herself. She felt there was something coming to her and she was waiting for it, fearfully. “When she abandoned herself a little whispered word escaped her slightly parted lips. She said it over and over under her breath, free, free, free!”. She enjoys her new self. This particular one hour transformed her and extended her vision of life. Those specific sixty minutes gives her what she was waiting throughout her life, “freedom”. She is now able to see beyond the confined boundaries of her married life. That particular one hour shows her “a long procession of years to come” that she would live out of every domination and confinement of married life.
The title is both appropriate and suggestive as in “an Hour”, her “freedom” had been won and lost. That one hour becomes the representative of those women who silently bears the domination of males after marriage. Waiting for “freedom” they spent their entire life and if somehow they managed to escape, it could be short-lived at the best.
In “an Hour”, Mrs. Mallard enjoys discovering herself and learns to carry, “herself unwillingly like a goddess of Victory”. In the same mere hour her hopes and “freedom” are “shattered” with her husband’s return. She again falls on the domination of her husband.
Thus, this one hour becomes the most important part of Mrs. Mallard’s life. It provides her freedom, builds her dreams and gives her hopes. On the other hand within the same hour, with her husband’s return, her all dreams and hopes are “shattered” and she finally dies.