The Story of an Hour By Kate Chopin Essay

Kate Chopin short-story “The Story of an Hour” revolves around Louise Mallard, a young married woman. The story was written in 19th century when common sense and tradition made women to be second-rate to men, in both status plus opportunities. Noticeably, Mrs. Louise Mallard frantically wants to acquire more freedom, however once she is informed that her husband has died, that she begins dreaming regarding it. Through providing such a depiction of marriage, the author Chopin enables readers to visualize the main characters Brently, Josephine and Richards’s personal feelings and expectations concerning marriage, as well as their feelings concerning the relationship between men and women. The aim of this essay is to define what kind of man is Louise husband, Brently Mallard. Second, define the role of Josephine and Richards in the play, in addition to stating how both of them are akin to Brently Mallard.


What kind of man is Brently Mallard?

Firstly, Mr. Mallard seems to be an unexciting person with little or no discourse, sort of role filler and a breadwinner. He appears to be crippled by his inability to talk to his with a blind persistence that men have the right to impose their private will on their wives. This is evident by Louise excitement of realizing that she is now free from her marriage of convenience through her statement “what could love the unsolved mystery,……. of this possession of self-assertion……. ‘Free!… body and soul free” (Ackley 149).

Second, he was a very composed person, and that is why he never recognized precisely the real feelings of his wife towards him. One has to consider that, even though Brently Mallard has handled his relationship with best of intentions, the outcomes arising from his intransience and infatuation, have been quite a limiting dynamic in some aspect, even though he was not a bad husband. Moreover, Josephine, Richards, and Louise attitude towards him is that of a kind and affectionate friend and husband. For instance, Josephine and Richards define him as a good man and as a tender friend (Ackley 149).

Brently Mallard has been portrayed as being good to his wife, and he never carried out anything that would make his wife feel like his death could be such a good thing. This is evident by the statement that throughout their married life, Mr. Mallard never appeared save with love on his wife (Ackley 149). This could be attributed to the reality that society expectations during that period made people to dread failed marriages, and Mr. Mallard who sought to maintain his social standing, tried to enforce his spirit to make everything in his marriage work. Thus, in so doing, his wife strength of character was completely lost, hence making her to deem herself as being lost. This has been attributed by statements such as “The kind, tender hands folded in death” (Ackley 149).

Role of Josephine and Richards

Overall Josephine and Richard play the role of society in the story, given that they were the ones who delivered the news and were supposedly there to ensure that Louise reacted in concurrence to how society expects. Both of are them are a symbol of society melee, especially when they fantasize how Louse will weep, or whether she can get into trauma upon being told the news. The role of Josephine is to be a confidante, even as Louise is able to confide in her, concerning how her life. For instance, she frequently checks on her to confirm that she is doing well (Ackley 149). Josephine role is to reveal the role of a woman as expected by the then society, one in which the woman is loyal, attached and dependent on the man, only acts as a second-party within the marriage. She is a skillful dissembler of information and she converse circles about the truth. Evidently, being aware of her sister heart trouble, she took great care to break the news of his death as gently as possible, for instance, she used “veiled hints that reveal in half concealing truths”, so as to implore for admission from her sister (Ackley 149).

On the other hand, Richard role is that of a fixed personality who generally just wants to confirm seems to be concerned about his friend wife well-being Thus, Richard personality does not alter much, since his role is to compel the plot, by being the person that informs Louise about the distressing news. Thus, in a way, Mrs. Mallard’s eventual death arises from Richard clumsiness and extreme eagerness. He offers a blank slate on which readers can imagine possible relations between him and Louise. Also, one is left to wonder whether Richard grief regarding his friend is pure, or what other objective besides comforting Louise could he have, for rushing so quickly to reveal the sad information (Ackley 149).

In a way, Josephine and Richards are similar to Brently Mallard, in that they feel that Louise ought to be attached in her marriage, sort of a second party who is very reliant on man. Both try to accomplish what Brently Mallard expects of them within the society, and that is delivering the information through the softest approach possible. For instance, as Mr. Mallard walks in, Richard struggles to obstruct Louise from spotting her husband, so as to shield her delicate heart from having a heart attack. Thus, the three of them try to play their roles based on the status which has been defined by the wider society and not by their individual convictions (Ackley 149).


This essay has defined what kind of man Brently Mallard is, in Kate Chopin short-story “The Story of an Hour”. The paper argues that, even though he loved his wife, Brently Mallard was immersed in the society standards concerning marriage, and as a result he was not able to discern the wickedness of his marriage. Second, the paper has defined the role of Josephine and Richards in the play, in addition to stating how both of them are akin to Brently Mallard. Thus, their role is to help readers to observe life instinctively, especially since they take on a direct and immediate personal interest concerning intimate private affairs of Mrs. Mallard’s experience, as well as her shifting moods. They have also been used to reveal the constraints experienced by the feminist character confront the conventional outlook of marriage, love, and search for identity, freedom plus vivid future.

Works Cited

Ackley, Katherine Anne. Essays from Contemporary Culture. New York: Cengage Learning, 2003.