Themes and message


Marriage is an important theme in “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin. The theme is illustrated through the relationship between Louise and Brently Mallard. The two characters show how marriage functioned at the turn of the 19th century, when women were generally expected to get married, have children, and obey their husbands.

Louise and Brently’s marriage is not perfect. On the one hand, Louise acknowledges that her husband loved her: “She knew that she would weep again when she saw the kind, tender hands folded in death; the face that had never looked save with love upon her, fixed and gray and dead.” (p. 107, ll. 8-10). When she states that she would cry upon seeing Brently’s dead body, she suggests that she was also affectionate towards him.

On the other hand, Louise claims that she did not love Brently all the time: “And yet she had loved him – sometimes. Often she had not.” (p. 107, l. 19). This is probably caused by her feeling of confinement in her marriage. Louise mentions a battle of wills, w...

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