The Story of an Houry by Kate Chopin

Summary: In The Story of an Houry by Kate Chopin, Mrs. Mallard is told her husband has died on a train crash. She is devastated at first but then she starts to think to herself that she is free for the rest of her life. At the thought of being free, Mrs. Mallard is filled with joy but then she sees her husband is still alive and she dies at that moment.


  • Mrs. Mallard (Louise) - told that she is a widow; has heart problems
  • Josephine - Mrs. Mallard's sister
  • Richard - Mr. Mallard's friend
  • Brently Mallard - Husband to Mrs. Mallard; believed to be dead from a train crash

Section One:

  • Mrs. Mallard has heart trouble
  • Brantly Mallard is the first name on the list of the dead in a railroad disaster
  • Josephine and Brently feel the heart trouble Mrs. Mallard has could be a problem when they tell her of Brently's death
  • Mrs. Mallard wept immediately about her husband, but soon it stopped when she was alone
  • Mrs. Mallard knows something is different for her now, she figures out that she is "free, free, free"
  • Mrs. Mallard does not want to die now even though yesterday she did not care to live longer
  • Mrs. Mallard is happy because "There would be no powerful will bending hers"
  • Mrs. Mallard finally comes out to be with her family, she sees her husband in the door and screams right before she dies
  • The doctors said that she died of "hear disease - of joy that kills"

Other Notes:

  • Mrs. Mallard dies of grief, she describes herself as finally being free then when she sees her husband she dies
  • Everyone believes Mrs. Mallard will be grief stricken about the news of her husband, they want to be there for her when she finds out

© 2009 copyright The Story of an Houry | Kate Chopin