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|The Story of an Hour PDF|
|Author: Kate Chopin|
|No. Of Pages: 06|
|PDF Size: 121 KB|
|Category: eBooks & Novels|
|Source: Drive Files|
The Story of an Hour Summary
Knowing Mrs. Mallard had a heart condition, considerable care was taken to deliver the news of her husband’s death to her as gently as possible.
Her sister Josephine was the one who informed her, in weak phrases, veiled suggestions that were exposed in half-hiding. Richards, a friend of her husband’s, was also there, standing close to her. He had been at the newspaper office when word of the train accident arrived, with Brently Mallard’s name at the top of the “dead” list. He’d just taken the time to double-check its accuracy with a second telegraph, and he’d rushed to prevent any less meticulous, less compassionate friend from delivering the awful news.
She didn’t hear the narrative the way many other women have, frozen by the inability to grasp its importance. In her sister’s arms, she sobbed uncontrollably and passionately. She went to her room alone once the storm of anguish had passed. She didn’t want anybody to follow her.
A comfy, large armchair was in front of the open window. She fell into it, pushed down by a physical lethargy that pervaded her whole body and seemed to reach into her soul.
She could see the tops of trees aquiver with fresh spring life in the open plaza in front of her home. Rain was in the air, and it smelled lovely. A vendor was yelling his products on the street below. Countless birds twittered in the eaves, and she barely heard the strains of a distant tune that someone was singing. Through the clouds that had met and stacked one on top of the other in the west facing her window, there were bits of blue sky visible here and there.
She remained still in her chair, her head thrown back on the cushion, except when a sob rose in her throat and shook her, as though a child who has sobbed itself to sleep continues to sob in its dreams.
She was youthful, with a fair, tranquil face with restraint and even power in her lines. But now she had a drab expression on her face, her gaze set off to the side on one of those patches of blue sky. It wasn’t a reflective gaze; rather, it signified a pause in intellectual thinking.
Something was on its way to her, and she was terrified as she awaited it. What was it, exactly? She had no idea; it was much too delicate and enigmatic to be named. However, she felt it crawling out of the sky, reaching out to her via the noises, fragrances, and colours that filled the air.
Her bosom was now tumultuously rising and falling. She was starting to identify the monster that was about to take possession of her, and she was trying to fight it with her willpower — as helpless as her two white skinny hands would have been. A little murmured phrase left her slightly opened lips when she abandoned herself. “Free, free, free!” she said again under her breath. Her vacuous expression had vanished, as had the terrified look that had followed it. They maintained their alertness and vigour. Her pulses were quick, and the blood pouring through her veins warmed and calmed every part of her body. She didn’t bother to inquire as to whether or not she was being held by a terrible joy. She was able to reject the proposal as unimportant due to her clear and elevated awareness.
When she saw the sweet, soft hands folded in death; the face that had never gazed at her but with affection, set and grey and dead, she knew she would cry again. But, beyond that painful moment, she saw a long line of years ahead of her that would be all hers. And she welcomed them by opening her arms and spreading them out. There would be no one to care for her in the years ahead; she would have to fend for herself. There would be no strong will bending hers in the way that men and women think they have the right to force their own will on a fellow-creature. As she saw it in that little moment of clarity, whether the act was done with good intentions or bad intentions, it seemed no less of a crime.
Despite this, she had loved him — on occasion. She hadn’t always done so. What difference did it make? What did love, the unsolved mystery, have in the face of this instantaneous recognition of self-assertion as the most powerful drive in her being?
“Free! She continued repeating, “Body and soul free!”
Josephine was kneeling in front of the locked door, her lips pressed against the keyhole, pleading for entrance. “Open the door, Louise!” I implore you, don’t open the door – you’ll get sick. Louise, what are you up to? Please, for the love of God, open the door.”
“Get out of here.” “I’m not going to get sick.” No, she was inhaling a life-giving elixir via the open window. Her imagination was running wild in the days ahead of her. Days in the spring, summer, and all kinds of other seasons would be hers. She prayed quickly that her life would be long. It had only been yesterday that she had shuddered at the prospect of a long life.
She finally stood up and opened the door to her sister’s concerns. Her eyes were filled with a furious triumph, and she unknowingly carried herself like a goddess of Victory. She clung to her sister’s waist as they down the stairwell together. At the bottom, Richards was waiting for them.
Someone was using a latchkey to unlock the front door. Brently Mallard walked in, a bit dusty from his travels but composedly holding his grip-sack and umbrella. He had been far away from the accident site and had no idea there had been one. He was taken aback by Josephine’s piercing shriek and Richards’ rapid effort to shield him from his wife’s gaze.
Richards, on the other hand, was too late.
When the physicians arrived, they informed me that she had died of heart disease – pleasure that kills.
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