Quotes From 'The Story of an Hour' by Kate Chopin

Close up of a shocked young woman's face, black and white photo.

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"The Story of An Hour" is a fascinating read with a surprise ending that takes readers far from Mrs. Mallard's initial reaction to tragic news. In her short story, Kate Chopin dramatizes the story of a wife who discovers the truth about her husband's death.

News of Death

"Knowing that Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble, great care was taken to break to her as gently as possible the news of her husband's death."

"When the storm of grief had spent itself she went away to her room alone. She would have no one follow her."

"There was something coming to her and she was waiting for it, fearfully. What was it? She did not know; it was too subtle and elusive to name. But she felt it, creeping out of the sky, reaching toward her through the sounds, the scents, the color that filled the air."

Unexpected Joy

"She said it over and over under her breath: 'free, free, free!' The vacant stare and the look of terror that had followed, it went from her eyes. They stayed keen and bright. Her pulses beat fast, and the coursing blood warmed and relaxed every inch of her body."

"She saw beyond that bitter moment a long procession of years to come that would belong to her absolutely. And she opened and spread her arms out to them in welcome."

"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."

"And yet she had loved him — sometimes. Often she had not."

End of 'The Story of an Hour' Quotes

"She breathed a quick prayer that life might be long. It was only yesterday she had thought with a shudder that life might be long."

"When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease — of joy that kills."