Essay Example on a Widow's Freedom: Mrs. Mallard's Reaction to Death

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  621 Words
Date:  2023-02-20

Death can be interpreted in various ways by people. Death can bring sadness to people, while to others, it causes happiness. In most cases, the death of a husband causes the widow to mourn. However, this was not the case with Louise Mallard. She chose the death of her husband since she gained freedom, which she never had during their marriage. Mrs. Mallard lived a life that was controlled by her husband, and therefore, her husband's death would bring freedom to her life. However, she died out of heart disease from the joy of discovering that her husband was alive. The story by Kate shows a society that is male-controlled and dominated, whereby women suffer from their loyalty (Chopin, 1981).

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

As soon as Mrs. Mallard learned of the death of her husband, she was grief-stricken and wanted to mourn alone. During that time, she realized she had an avenue, to utilize her time solely as the husband was dead. She had finally got her soul and body free, which brought exemplary joy. However, the author does not show any evidence of Mrs. Mallard's mistreatment, but it is clear that she was not happy in her marriage. She tried freeing herself through acceptance of a widow's life and by breathing profoundly. Mrs. Mallard died unexpectedly when Mr. Mallard opened the door, and the assumption was a shock from the joy of finding out that Mr. Mallard was alive.

However, Mrs. Mallard died due to the shock of finding out that the freedom she yearned for would never be right. Mrs. Mallard's marriage had a lot of challenges, and therefore she would only live to please her husband. Critical feminist view Kate Chopin's story would be based on women's anticipation of marriage. Kate Chopin describes Mrs. Mallard as powerless in her family. She is seen to live in a marriage that she does not want virtually. This is seen in her statement that, yet, she loved the husband. Lack of freedom made Mrs. Mallard feel worthless in her marriage, and she, therefore, lived to please her husband rather than herself. Feminist's perception of women in marriage is that they lack freedom, and men dominate and own them. This could be the reason why Mrs. Mallard's name was mentioned towards the ending of the story.

Just as the beginning, we are told that Mrs. Mallard suffered from heart trouble; this introduces her like a powerless woman. At first, we can consider the problem as a psychological like the way older women get questions, but Chopin wants to show us that it was a mental problem of being powerless in marriage. This is seen from the quotation "and yet..." (Wan, 2009). The story begins with a weakness symbol and ends with an irony. It is seen that she got shocked, seeing her husband, and imagined that she would not be free again as she had thought.


In conclusion, the conflict between female powerless and male dominance is seen in Chopin's story, where the center of her story is showing that a woman can be strong if the conditions are right and human. At first, she becomes strong and sturdy, knowing that her freedom is restored. She turns to be confident and accepts the life of a loyal windowed wife. The story makes us think of how to deal with depression in the future. However, gender problems should be solved since, even in these times, the problems exist.


Chopin, K. (1981). The Story of an Hour - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Retrieved from.

Wan, X. (2009). "Kate Chopin's View on Death and Freedom in The Story of an Hour." English Language Teaching, vol. 2, no. 4, doi:10.5539/elt.v2n4p167.

Cite this page

Essay Example on a Widow's Freedom: Mrs. Mallard's Reaction to Death. (2023, Feb 20). Retrieved from

Free essays can be submitted by anyone,

so we do not vouch for their quality

Want a quality guarantee?
Order from one of our vetted writers instead

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the ProEssays website, please click below to request its removal:

didn't find image

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience and 25% off!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism