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This is a short story by Kate Chopin, in which she tells the story of an hour in the life of Louise Mallard. Louise Mallard was known to have a heart disease. When news arrived that her husband was one of those killed in a railroad accident, her sister Josephine, and her husband's friend Richard take extra care in breaking the news to her due to her heart condition.

On receiving the news, Mrs. Mallard weeps hysterically for her husband. She then retreats to a room where she remains reclusive as she reflects on her husband's demise and what it portends for her. She is still young, even though she has endured repression all along in her marriage with such admirable strength.

Amid her sobs, a new revelation dawns on her. She is now free. She can pursue a life that she wants, one that will bring her happiness (Bender 461). Of course she loved her husband, and his loss meant considerable grief for her, but beyond that lay freedom. Unfortunately, Brently Mallard hadn't died, and on his return, Louise collapsed and died. It was later said that she died of her heart condition. On the contrary, it seemed like the thought of going back to her dreary married life is what killed her.

Just minutes ago, she had quietly celebrated the idea of living her life fully without her dead husband. To see him walk through the door, unharmed and healthy, proved too much to bear (Berkove 156). She had started looking forward to a life of freedom without her dead husband, but it seems real freedom only came after her own death.

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