Summary of Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin
Summarizing Chopin's Story of an Hour is easy when you have a guide from the writers at Paper Masters. There are a few very important elements when writing a summary on a literature short story. Here are a few things we suggest you consider:
- Be sure to summarize the theme first when introducing the story's plot.
- Summarize the main characters of the story, such as Louise Mallard and Brently
- Make sure your summary gives a clear progression of the important events in the story
In Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour,” the reader experiences a wide range of emotions alongside the main character, Louise Mallard, whose husband, Brently, was killed in a railroad accident. She first experiences great sadness, breaking down in front of her friends before asking to be left alone. Her sister and friend both try to keep Mrs. Mallard calm, knowing she has a severe heart condition.
Once Mrs. Mallard goes upstairs to her room, the reader watches as she experiences every emotion from sadness to exhilaration, all within the course of less than an hour. She believes herself to be “Free! Body and soul free,” something that she was not able to enjoy because of her identity as a married woman. As the story was written in the late 1800s, it was expected that Mrs. Mallard be defined by her husband; she was his wife, and as such, without him, had an unknown future.
Mrs. Mallard remained in her room for a short while, composing herself so as to act appropriately as a grieving widow. All the while, however, he mind was racing with the possibilities of what her new-found freedom might entail. She slowly descends the steps, and as she does, the front door opens. She stops, utterly shocked, and is stricken with a massive heart attack. As it turns out, her husband was not killed and has instead walked in the door. Mrs. Mallard’s hopes of independence have been dashed, and the sudden shock of having this taken away from her caused her fatal cardiac event.