Kate Chopin's Short Stories

what happens to Mrs. Mallard at the end of te story? do you agree with the explanation the doctors give? why or why not?

In "the story of an hour"

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She dies;

"Thoughts of the wonderful life ahead of her crowd Louise’s mind as she walks downstairs to join the others. The front door opens and Mr. Mallard enters the house—alive! In that brief moment Mrs. Mallard collapses, dead. The doctor claimed that Louise’s joy at seeing her husband alive was so great her heart gave out and she died from pure joy. Elizabeth Ammons writes in her book, Conflicting Stories, that in Louise’s "society there is no free zone beyond the rules of patriarchy, no neutral space capable of permitting female self-realization uncontrolled by androcentric values" (73). Did Mrs. Mallard really die from the joy she was experiencing at seeing her husband alive and well, or from knowing that the only way for her to truly achieve freedom would be as a result of the death of either her or her husband?

Now that Louise had tasted freedom, she could not bear the thought of returning to her dreary life. In the split second that she realized her husband was alive and any hope she had freedom was gone, Louise’s heart decided what must be done. He was alive, therefore she must die."

Do I agree with the doctors? Well, shock has been known to kill!