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April 17 , 2009

The Story of an Hour - The Awakening


In Kate Chopin’s classic tale The Story of an Hour, Louise Mallard receives a terrible shock after hearing of the death of her husband, Brently in a railroad disaster.

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Mrs. Mallard suffers from heart problems; therefore, her sister informs her of the horrific news in a gentle way.

Mrs. Mallard locks herself in her room to mourn the loss of her husband.

However, she begins to feel an unexpected sense of exhilaration.

"Free! Body and soul free!"

Until she discovers her husband standing in the doorway of their house, very much alive.

The shock of seeing her living husband proves too much for her heart and kills her.


When Kate Chopin’s The Awakening was first published in 1899, the public outcry proved so strident the novel was banned for decades.

A taboo subject back in its day, The Awakening tells the story of one woman's emotional journey from a loveless, miserable marriage to a spirited and lusty freedom. As the heroine Edna Pontellier, awakens to her own sexual desires, she begins to question her ideas about marriage, motherhood, and the nature of love itself. Thus arises an infidelity dreams are made of, although at the expense of her marriage and motherhood.

A milestone in American fiction, The Awakening is an unforgettably powerful novel of self-discovery that has inspired generations of readers. Its realistic narrative, incisive social commentary, and psychological complexity was a precursor to American modernist literature, thus foreshadowing the works of novelists such as William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, and Edith Wharton.


KATE CHOPIN (1850-1904) was an American short-story writer and novelist. Numerous authors were strongly influenced by Chopin’s writing and she has garnered high praise from writers as varied as Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, Eudora Welty, Katherine Anne Porter, and Tennessee Williams.




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