“Story of an Hour” By Kate Chopin In the dictionary, character is defined as the aggregate of the features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing. This is what people look for in a person they read about in any kind of genre. There is no perfect character in a story. Every character has some kind of flaw in them that draws us in. This is called a tragic flaw. Tragic flaw is a flaw in the protagonist of a tragedy that brings the protagonist to their down fall. The tragic flaw is what causes the internal turmoil in our character in this particular story.
In “Story of an Hour” (p. 168-171) by Kate Chopin, the main character Louise Mallard suffers an internal turmoil when she finds out that her husband, Brently has just died. She first sees this as a huge upset then she realizes that she is now free of her husband, who she has never truly loved. Louise also had a heart condition so that “great care was taken to break to her as gently as possible the news of her husband’s death. ” (p. 168) This is a major part of the story. At one point, the condition goes away. She realizes that her husband was part of the heart problem.
Not only was the condition physical but also emotional. When she realizes that her husband has died she has a sense of being free physical but also emotional. She has conflicting emotions that she tells us about by her thoughts and actions rather then in dialogue. These are all traits that help us understand who Louise Mallard is and how she feels about the lost of her husband. In the story, Louise Mallard understands how women should act. This meaning that women should take care of her husband by loving him no matter what and having a hot meal on the table when he comes home from work.
When she finds out her husband has died all of these emotions that are the complete opposite of what a women should act like come flowing into her head. She starts to think of what her future will be like without him and she is starting to love the idea of being independent. This is Louise’s tragic flaw. She gets very excited of the fact that her husband has passed away and all she can think about is her new independence. We can see this by the way Chopin writes: And yet she had loved him – sometimes. Often she had not.
What did it matter! 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! “Free! Body and soul free! ” she kept whispering. (P. 170) This one just one of the many quotes that show the true character of Louise Mallard. She realizes that she is free in all the sense of the word. Her body and soul are now free of what her husband wanted from her. She now realizes that she has so much time that she can learn to become her self.
Chopin show us at the towards the end of the story: Her fancy was running riot along those days ahead of her. Spring days, and summer days, and all sorts of days that would be her own. She breathed a quick prayer that life might be long. It was only yesterday she had thought with a shudder that life might be long. She wants to be very smart and independent women but cannot because that is not the right way a women should act. Now that her husband is gone she can be whom she wants. Louise’s sister Josephine is the one who informs her of her husband’s death.
She was the only one who could tell her because of her heart condition. After hearing the news she went to her room to calm her self down before anything happened with her heart. While she was in the room she started to think about how unhappy her life was. It seems like should started to get a panic attack and that’s what made her realize how free should could actually be. Her sister was afraid she would kill herself in the room but it turns out it was all for the better. Chopin says: There would be no one to live for during those coming years; she would live for herself.
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. 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. (P. 170) But with all of her realizing she never thought that when she would come down the stairs her husband would be there alive. With this turn of events, Louise gets a dose of reality when her husband walks through the door. Her new life that she was very excited about had just been ruined. When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease – of joy that kills. ”(P. 170) That last sentence changes the mood of the story completely. You end up feeling bad for Louise and root for her new independence and it comes crumbling down in a matter of seconds. Works Cited Chopin, Kate. “The Story of an Hour. ” Backpack Literature: AnIntroduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. By X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 4th ed. New York:Pearson/Longman, 2006. 169-71. Print. Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n. d. Web. 08 Oct. 2012. <http://www. merriam-webster. com/>.