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The Story of an Hour and Other Stories

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  10,626 ratings  ·  195 reviews
In these four stories, Kate Chopin subtly captures the intricate interior lives of a generation of women. From the famous proto-feminist tale "The Story of an Hour" to the subtly sexy "A Respectable Woman," Chopin sheds light on the frustrations, desires, and dreams of her own era and their reverberations today. Artist Gemma Correll's quirky illustrations provide a perfect ...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published September 1st 2001 by Tale Blazers (first published 1894)
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The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret AtwoodJane Eyre by Charlotte BrontëThe Bell Jar by Sylvia PlathThe Color Purple by Alice WalkerThe Awakening by Kate Chopin
Best Feminist Fiction
70th out of 976 books — 1,974 voters
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr SolzhenitsynA Midsummer Night's Dream by William ShakespeareTwelfth Night by William ShakespeareA Night to Remember by Walter LordThe Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
Time Passages
17th out of 479 books — 42 voters


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Community Reviews

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Ij
The Story of an Hour

Written by: Kate Chopin

The Story of an Hour

Characters:

Mrs. Louise Mallard
Josephine (Louise’s sister)
Brently Mallard (Louise’s husband)
Richards (Brently’s friend)

A lot can happen in an hour!

Louise Mallard has heart trouble. Her sister Josephine and her husband’s friend Richards use caution when informing her that Brently had been killed in a railroad disaster. Richards had used care to verify the incident. A second telegram had confirmed the sad communications, originally
...more
Niki
I LOVE Kate Chopin; all of her. While I don't think of myself as a raging feminist, I respect the themes of feminism that run throughout her short fiction. The Story of and Hour was meaningful in my life when I was going through some tough times. I photocopied it and carried it around with me, as a sort of comfort. (weird, I know). Still, it is powerful, super-short, and just fantastic.

Much of her short fiction is touching and funny and sad. I just adore everything she's written.
Jianne
Oct 02, 2011 Jianne rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: If you want to read a short story with a great meaning.
Recommended to Jianne by: My Englit. teacher.
Ever since my classes on English Literature started, I love almost all the excerpts that we read. I really wanted to read the whole novel already! The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin is the second short story that I've read for Englit. class and you bet, its been my favorite so far!

The Story of an Hour describes the series of emotions Louise Mallard endures after hearing of the death of her husband, who was believed to have died in a railroad disaster. Mrs. Mallard suffers from heart problems an
...more
Prashant
I am simply baffled after reading this story. It left me with more questions then I would have ever liked to ponder.

These are the kind of questions we live with our whole lives. Some just give up the hope and many others die trying to find the answer.

--> Was she really happy that her husband was dead or was it her hysterical answer to the absurdity of the situation?

--> Did she really have only these fleeting moments when she loved her husband or was she trying to make the situation less p
...more
Lori
I gave The Story of an Hour, which is public domain and can be found at http://my.hrw.com/support/hos/hostpdf..., a full 5 stars because I read the story along with two other people, and we each had a different take on why the protagonist reacted the way she did. Only great works can make like-minded people see things in a different way. This short story is packed with great detail and has made me an instant fan of Chopin.

A Pair of Silk Stockings had me admiring the protagonist one minute and th
...more
Jonathan
This novel is about woman oppression. I was really into this book because there was a lot of irony in it. The main character, Mrs. Mallard is a woman who became insane because of being contained by her husband for a long time. In the end, Mrs. Mallard hears a rumor that her husband was hit by a car. The normal response from a regular person would be "Oh my gosh!" But instead, Mrs. Mallard screams in joy. This was ironic because as soon as she thought that her husband died, she rejoiced. But soon ...more
Abeer
I took 'the story of an hour' in my intro to lit class in my all female college in saudi arabia so this is a bit of a complicated situation.
it is obvious to me from my professor's choices of material that she is a feminist. she however keeps denying it which I understand.
one of my classmates, a lovely girl who I like a lot, did not seem to enjoy all these stories that attacked monogamy, society and even religion. I don't think the attack was on any of these things but simply on sexism being thr
...more
Jowayria Rahal
This is one of the best short stories I've ever read. Although I am not exactly what you'd call ' a feminist' since I believe in "people-ism" rather than feminism, Kate Chopin did -in fact- bring the feminist out of me.

I am neither ashamed nor embarrassed to say that I read this three-pages short story five times yesterday. Yes, it wouldn't take more than 15 minutes to read it, but if you're quite acquainted with Kate Chopin's poetic-like writing style, you should by now have guessed the reason
...more
Jim Drewery
Many a reader has come away from reading Kate Chopin's “The Story of an Hour” with the incorrect impression that Mrs. Mallard has died from the shock to her delicate heart of seeing her husband alive after it has been erroneously reported shortly before that he was killed in a tragic accident. One can easily see how a cursory read of this piece could leave such an impression, after all the opening line of the story states, “Knowing that Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble, great care ...more
Natalie
"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."

Fantastic story that makes me, at least, appreciate even more the strides toward social equality and econom
...more
Espresso
I loved how this woman, Mrs. Mallard showed such enthusiasm about beginning her new life as a widow. It is sad that her married life, though tender and loving still caused her to feel repressed and only through her husband's supposed death to begin to realize herself. It imagery was striking in that the only allusion to the end of life during her private contemplation, is that her "open window" faces west. All other imagery related are symbolistic of a new beginning.
Ivana
Kratko ali slatko. Short but sweet...in a morbid kind of way. But with my sense of humor I was bound to enjoy it. Maybe it is not funny to some people. I guess it is kind of tragic, but that is what makes it amusing for me. It is clever all right and what a way to end it! I know it is all about the ending but still...Chopin puts the essence of this woman's life in a few pages. Now, that is a short story!
Beth
4.5 stars

Wow. This is a tiny short story, beautiful and strange, but amazingly well-written. Like all good shorts, it concerns itself with a small plight. But, God, does this small plight speak wonders. It's very short, and highly recommended. Can be found for free on the web. There is a brilliant cruelty to the ending that left me reeling.
Sarah
One of the most powerful short stories ever. And I mean it. If this isn't carpe diem translated into in English, then I'll eat okra. And I hate okra.
Dark Slayer
This story revolves around a married woman, Louise Mallard (or Mrs. Mallard), who is about to receive a horrible news as regards Brently Mallard, her husband, who has been alleged to have been killed in a railroad accident. Richards, her husband’s friend, has assured her sister Josephine that, according to the newspaper office, Mr. Ballard is dead. Hence, Josephine is the one who tactfully informs her of the news, which, apparently, Mrs. Mallard cannot grasp, at first. Mrs. Mallard’s tears cann ...more
Alex Fimbianti
It surprises me that there is so much to say about such a short story. It was written by Kate Chopin on April 19, 1894. The title of the short story refers to the time elapsed between the moments at which the protagonist hears her husband is dead and discovers that he is in fact alive and well. When it was written in the 1890s in was considered very controversial because it involves a female protagonist who feels liberated by the news of her husband's death. As you can imagine, this was not a po ...more
Dalecia G.
My favorite short story is “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin. “The Story of an Hour” is about Louise Mallard. She has heart trouble and she finds out that her husband Brently Mallard was on a list of people that passed away from a railroad accident. Mrs. Mallard begins her grieving process up in her room alone. As the short story continues, Mrs. Mallard thinks about her husband and how it would not be so bad without him. Mrs.Mallard changes as a character by thinking that she does not need h ...more
Elizabeth Rogers
Aug 28, 2014 Elizabeth Rogers rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in female writers
Kate Chopin's short story "The Story of an Hour" traces the emotional state of a wife (Louise Mallard)upon being told that her husband has died in a railroad accident. While Mrs. Mallard first grieves hysterically over her husband's death, she soon begins to contemplate the implications of her new status as a widow. Upon realizing she has regained her personal rights and escaped from her marriage, Mrs. Mallard rejoices at her fate, crying, "free, free, free!"

For any readers interested in gender
...more
Rachel Jackson
I read Kate Chopin's The Awakening years and years ago and remember enjoying it for the most part, if not for the story, then at least for the message of women's liberation that is so often associated with it. But I think I like "The Story of an Hour" better. It's shorter, but much more evocative and emotional the entire way through — it'd have to be, at such a length. It's the story of Josephine, a woman with heart problems who suddenly learns her husband has been killed in a "railroad disaster ...more
Angelica Castillo
Louise Mallard has to deal with the death of her husband Brently Mallard due to a railroad accident. Her sister and her husband's coworker were worried of imparting the news to Louise because she has a heart problem. After knowing what happened, she then locked herself in her room. Someone knocked on the door and it turned out to be Brently which meant he did not die from the accident. Louise had a stroke and died from happiness, or so they say.

Spoilers ahead so...

(view spoiler)
...more
Robyn Hodgson
Kate Chopin is my favorite Southern writer, and this short story of hers has haunted me for years. I've read it numerous times. The world assumes her silence is despair because women have been forced to live in servitude to men they do not love. One hour passes, and so much occurs within her mind, her soul, the freedom she encounters for the first time.

And, then it...

What a story. Kate Chopin is a master storyteller. Read this and then go read The Awakening. Chopin will change your life.
Tairan Qiu
This is one of the first few short stories that I have ever read. I liked it a lot because of how detailed the description of the atmosphere is and how the emotions of the protagonist was portrayed. When I first read it, I did not see beyond the plot and I could not understand what it was trying to say. After looking it up and reading it again, I realized that it is about the thought of liberty in women in a society that has a clear gender discrepancy. I learnt about this story in a writing clas ...more
Jithin James
Rating : 3.8*

It is a brilliantly narrated short story by Kate Chopin.

The narrative does not have much of a plot to begin with…. As the title suggests, the narrative spans the time elapsed between the moments where Mrs. Mallard is informed of the death of Brently, her husband till she finds that the news was a hoax.


Through this short story, the author has put forth the life of a couple leading an unhappy married life. Keeping aside what the author intended through the narrative, I would rathe

...more
Pardis
Life is nothing but a mixture of paradoxes. Birth or death? Freedom or captivity? Fall or Spring? Friend or foe? Grief or glee? One can see all these contradictions in a three page short story by Kate Chopin. The Story of an Hour made me realize that there is no absolute thing in this world. Not only we are the wanderers spread in the universe but also we are sure of nothing from within. Mrs. Mallard is just like all of us, not necessarily with the same story, but with some differences in detail ...more
Jill Collins
I started reading Mrs Dalloway and found myself incapable of continuing until I pulled The Story of an Hour off my shelf for another quick read. After many years of re-reading, the emotional impact has never failed. I'm reminded of my grandmother's generation of women, living on decades after their husbands have died. Many living for themselves for the first time in their lives.

"When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease - of the joy that kills."
Moez Lamti
This is a laconic but powerful primer in early feminist thought. Luckily, the economy of language spares the reader any sense of melodramatic excess. As a landmark for the story, the ambiguity of Louise's crying scene is critically intriguing and thus open to interpretive endeavour. symbolism is a no brainer but it does the job well; no wonder every fresher student loves Chopin.
Melinda McGuire
This is often one of the short stories I teach in intro to composition. It is so tightly written. Many students wrongly assume that the husband must have treated her poorly - Chopin tells us that is not the case. We just can't seem to grasp that her happiness comes from her freedom. I like her writing style and I love that she gives readers something to talk about and analyze.
Bridgette
Jan 28, 2013 Bridgette rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Bridgette by: Lori
Shelves: short-story
I read through some of the GR reviews and noticed that a lot of people either read this in HS or in college. I was gypped! I read this because I came across a friend's review and the review sparked my interest. Shame on my teachers for holding out!
Thomas
Not a bad short story! I loved Mrs. Mallard's progression in the piece, as well as the theme of feminism and the epiphanies that occurred throughout the work. And that ending, wow - did not see that one coming.
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Kate Chopin was an American novelist and short-story writer best known for her startling 1899 novel, The Awakening. Born in St. Louis, she moved to New Orleans after marrying Oscar Chopin in 1870. Less than a decade later Oscar's cotton business fell on hard times and they moved to his family's plantation in the Natchitoches Parish of northwestern Louisiana. Oscar died in 1882 and Kate was suddenl ...more
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“There would be no one there to live for her during those coming years; she would live for herself. There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistance 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.” 25 likes
“When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease - of the joy that kills.” 23 likes
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