The story of an hour reading interpretation questions answers
How and why we read: crash course english literature #1
Kate Chopin’s short story “The Story of an Hour” is about a woman’s feelings after learning that her husband has died in an accident. The story was first published in Vogue in 1894, and it is still considered one of Chopin’s most famous works today.
The story is available in our online text.
It’s a good idea to double-check your citation against one of these printed texts if you’re quoting a passage from this or other Kate Chopin stories for research purposes.
This is particularly important in the case of “The Tale of an Hour,” since some online and printed versions of the story omit a word that changes the sense of what Kate Chopin is saying.
“There would be no one to live for during those coming years; she would live for herself,” reads a sentence in the middle of some online versions of the plot. Compare that to the following sentence from our online text: “During those coming years, there would be no one to live for her; she would live for herself.” Check out our questions and answers below if you’re not sure why the word matters or why there are two versions of the story.
Near-death experiences: a new interpretation
4. How do the Mallards interact with one another? Is Brently Mallard cruel to Louise Mallard, or is there another explanation for her exclamation of “free, free, free!” when she learns of his death? What is her impression of him? 5. Mrs. Mallard locks the door to her room, but leaves the window open so her sister Josephine can’t get in. Why does Chopin make such a point of mentioning this to the reader? What does this have to do with the concept of “freedom” and the implication that she is imprisoned? Are there any other terms in the story that refer to this concept? 6. In the novel, what does Josephine represent? What does Richards stand for? Mrs. Mallard is portrayed as descending the stairs “like a Victory goddess.” In what respects does she think she has triumphed? “When the doctors came, they said she had died of heart disease-of joy that kills,” says the last line of the novel. In what respects is this a witty remark? What advantage does it do to have the doctors making such a comment rather than Josephine or Richards? 9. What is the story’s point of view on marriage? Does the story only reflect attitudes toward marriage in the nineteenth century, or could it similarly refer to attitudes toward marriage today? 10. Where does Mrs. Mallard “go” if this is, in some ways, a tale about a symbolic journey?
Reading and use of english at c1 and c2
Consider a world where women are battling for unparalleled rights, the economy is turbulent, and technical advances are made every year. While this world may sound like our own, it also describes the United States in the 1890s.
Author Kate Chopin wrote and lived in this country, and her short tale “The Story of an Hour” illustrates many of the problems of the moment. The story is still one of Kate Chopin’s most well-known books, and it continues to shed light on the internal struggle of women who have been denied autonomy over a century later.
It can be difficult to recall the essential specifics of Kate Chopin’s “The Tale of an Hour” if you haven’t read it in a while. This section contains a brief summary; however, “The Story of an Hour” PDF and complete version can be found here. Before diving into our analyses in the next section, we suggest that you read it again!
Mrs. Louise Mallard is at home when her niece, Josephine, and her husband’s friend, Richards, arrive to warn her that her husband, Brently Mallard, has died in a train crash. Richards was at the newspaper office when the news broke, and he takes Josephine with him to tell Louise because they don’t want to make her heart condition worse. Louise is heartbroken when she learns of her husband’s death and locks herself in her room to cry.
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Kate Chopin’s short story “The Story of an Hour” was published on April 19, 1894. “The Dream of an Hour” was first published in Vogue on December 6, 1894. On January 5, 1895, it was reprinted in St. Louis Life as “The Story of an Hour.”  The title of the short story alludes to the amount of time that passes between the heroine, Louise Mallard, learning that her husband, Brently Mallard, is dead and then learning that he is alive after all. “The Story of an Hour,” which featured a female protagonist who feels liberated after learning of her husband’s death, was controversial by 1890s American standards. [two]
The heroine, Louise Mallard, deals with the news that her husband, Brently Mallard, has died in “The Tale of an Hour.” Josephine, Louise’s niece, informs her of her husband’s unfortunate death in a train crash. Louise is overcome with sorrow and retreats to her room, where she eventually realizes that she is relieved that her husband has died. Despite the fact that Louise had no ill feelings toward her husband, his death presented her with a new sense of independence. Her joy stems from this realization of possibility. She returns downstairs later, only to see Brently returning home. When she sees her husband, her joy transforms to shock, and she dies as a result. Her death is diagnosed as heart disease by the doctor in the novel, who also refers to it as “of the joy that destroys” because she died after fantasizing about living a free life.