Themes in The Story of an Hour
Personal Freedom Is More Important Than Love: Though most people would prefer not to think of them as being at odds, Chopin presents love and freedom in opposition to each other. While Louise acknowledges some love in her marriage, that love is not enough to compensate for her lack of control over her own life while her husband is alive. The loss of her husband allows her to achieve the full freedom that she desires from his “powerful will bending hers.” At times, Chopin seems intent on suggesting that both men and women exert control over each others’ lives, and she condemns any such exertion of control. But there is a clear suggestion, particularly at the end of the story, that women suffer most from the incompatibility of love with freedom.
Themes Examples in The Story of an Hour:
The Story of an Hour🔒
"It was only yesterday she had thought with a shudder that life might be long...." See in text (The Story of an Hour)
"What could love, the unsolved mystery, count for in face of this possession of self-assertion which she suddenly recognized as the strongest impulse of her being!..." See in text (The Story of an Hour)
"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...." See in text (The Story of an Hour)
"There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature...." See in text (The Story of an Hour)