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Five different steps

Kate Chopin’s “story of an hour,” is a story of a woman, Mrs. Mallard, has been suffering from a heart condition when she learned the terrible news that her husband supposedly died in an accident. torn between mixed emotions of grieve and sorrow she hides herself out in her room where she discovers that she can now live her life for her, and no one else. The story is Mrs. Mallards struggle with her social environment, how she is “suppose to feel” by society and what she really feels in her heart, freedom. The conflict begins when, after learning the news, Mrs.

Mallard goes to her room where she begins to mourn. Suddenly the feeling of freedom hit her, like a knock on the door or a breath of fresh air. When in society she is meant to stand by her man and do everything for him instead of her. Now that her husband has passed, she gets the knowledge that she can now live her life for her, which with this grieving comes this sense of clarity, she loved him, but the feeling of freedom was much stronger. After receiving news of her husband’s passing she began the grieving process with great sorrow.

Grieving is clinically broken down into five different steps. Those steps include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. In paragraph three it quotes, “She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister’s arms. When the storm of grief had spent itself she went away to her room alone. She would have no one follow her” (pg 15). So we can see that her grieving process began in denial with her feelings of wild abandonment. Then she quickly moved forward towards the stage of anger when she rushed to her room alone and wouldn’t have anyone follow her.

Mrs. Mallard didn’t exactly go through a bargaining stage but instead headed straight to depression. In paragraph four through seven it expresses how she began to have feeling of emptiness while still fighting her emotional exhaustion. Paragraph seven proves this by saying “She sat with her head thrown back upon the cushion of the chair, quite motionless, except when a sob came up into her throat and shook her, as a child who has cried itself to sleep continues to sob it its dreams” (pg15). Later we discover Mrs.

Mallard staring blankly out her window at the open air. “But now there is a dull stare in her eyes, who’s gazed was fixed away off yonder on one of those patches of blue sky. It was not a glance of reflection, but rather indicated a suspension of intelligent thought” (pg 15 para 8). The text then reveals Mrs. Mallard’s sudden change of emotion to an acceptance of what her life will become. We now start to see how Mrs. Mallard gets a sense of freedom and realizes how she now doesn’t have to live for what society believe she should have to live for.

The sense of freedom takes over Mrs. Mallard’s emotions and her whole grieving process. “But she saw beyond that bitter moment a long procession of years to come that would belong to her absolutely. And she opened and spread her arms out to them and welcome” (pg16 para 13). She has now found a new meaning, for the way she should live life. In paragraph 14 it explains this by reading “There would be no one to live for her during those coming years; she would live for herself.

There would be no powerful will bending hers and that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature. A kind intention or a cruel intention made the act seem no less a crime as she looked upon it in that brief moment of illumination” (pg 16). The cruel intention of the crime that the text refers to is her way of going against the grain of society’s standards. Society suggests that a woman should stand by her man and not stand by her own thoughts and views. Mrs.

Mallard was now moving forward with her emotions. The major turning point for Mrs. Mallard to overcome the sense of grieving and finally accept her life was when she realized that she felt more in this moment of clarity with herself than she ever did with the love for her husband. “What could love, the unsolved mystery, count for in face of the possession of self-assertion which she suddenly recognized as the strongest impulse of her being! ” (pg 16 para 15). She knew in that exact moment that she was now free from emotional distress that society has brought upon her.

With her mind, body, and soul free she is ready to face the world and be released from the sorrow that she felt in the last hour. “There was a feverish triumph in her eyes, and she carried herself unwittingly like a goddess of victory” (pg 16 para 20). She has now fully accepted everything, and although fearful, is ready to move on with her new life alone. Mrs. Mallard regroups herself and opens the door to reality. She joins her sister and family friend, Richards, with a new found confidence.

After all of this build up of emotion, and final acceptance of how things are going to be for her, her story is not quite finished. There awaits a rude wake up call just moments ahead as she descends the stairs. She is unprepared for what happens when she reaches the bottom of the staircase. We learn that in paragraph twenty-one all that she has just gone through has gone to waste. “Someone was opening the front door with a latchkey. It was Brently Mallard who entered, a little travel-stained, composedly carrying his gripsack and umbrella.

He had been far from the scene of accident, and did not even know there had been one” (pg 16 para 21). As quickly as she gained self-acceptance, it disappeared just as fast. By mere shock of witnessing her husband being alive, the excitement overwhelms her. “When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease – of joy that kills” (pg 16 para 23). Mrs. Mallards joy of freedom was crushed when it is learned that her husband is in fact still alive; however, in her passing her spirit still remains free from her social environment.

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