Home > Free Essays > Literature > Themes in American Novels > Does Marriage Bring Happiness?: Based on “The Story of an Hour”

Does Marriage Bring Happiness?: Based on “The Story of an Hour” Essay

Exclusively available on IvyPanda Available only on IvyPanda
Updated: Aug 31st, 2022

“The Story of an Hour,” written by Kate Chopin in 1984, narrates the story of a married woman, Mrs. Millard, who just heard that her husband died in a car accident. After the sad news, she went from a feeling of complete loss to a sense of liberation almost in an hour. However, she dies of a heart attack when her husband was found to be alive. Mrs. Millard’s reaction suggests that her marriage was a trap. By her story, Chopin demonstrates that for most women in the 19th century, marriage was not joy but an obligation.

Mrs. Millard could not control the swings in her emotions right after she saw the news. When a person finds out about the death of their loved one, it is always a tragedy and great sorrow. Mrs. Millard, on the contrary, was peaceful and even imagined her future as a free woman.

This reveals how Mrs. Millard was oppressed in silence as most of women of her century. They never showed their emotions or any disappointment on their faces. Women of that century were bound in unhappy marriages because of wealth, status, and social judgments. Did women love their husbands? Indeed, there might be some warm feelings, but almost no one asked women about their feelings and thoughts. In this case, marriage is not a union of the loved ones but is a social obligation where a wife is a subject of a husband.

Mr. Millard never knew that his presence had killed his wife. He probably did not even think that Mrs. Millard could feel oppressed or bounded. They should be the closest ones to each other, but, ironically, they seem distant and cold. Mrs. Millard says, “free, free, free!” and “the vacant stare and the look of terror that had followed it went from her eyes; they stayed keen and bright.” The sudden joy of being free and realization of her liberation made her excited, showing burden of her marriage. Mr. Millard’s neglecting approach about his wife suggests that their union was comfortable only for him, while Mrs. Millard silently faded away.

Chopin illustrates how social obligations corrupt a sacred union such as marriage that should bring happiness for two people. The husband acted as a master, while the wife was a subject. 19th-century women were raised by being comfortable with men. Women should obey any men they are dependent on by following family rules, preserving traditions, being supportive, and never saying a word against them. Millard’s family seemed a perfect example of the social order in that century. Even though they were a “correct” and practical family, they were not happy.

To conclude, “The Story of an Hour” focuses on the marriage institution of the 19th century. Chopin challenges the existing social order by showing how happy a woman was to find out about her husband’s death. Marriage is a holy union, but the life of Millard’s family was turned into obligatory actions that each of them did systematically; it was not the cooperation of two loved ones. The story also reveals how women of the 19th century were oppressed in silence due to their inability to sustain themselves. They were never asked about their true feelings and thoughts. Women had to follow the accepted norms and traditions without arguing with the men who took care of them.

This essay on Does Marriage Bring Happiness?: Based on “The Story of an Hour” was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.
Removal Request
If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda.
Request the removal

Need a custom Essay sample written from scratch by
professional specifically for you?

801 certified writers online

Cite This paper
Select a referencing style:

Reference

IvyPanda. (2022, August 31). Does Marriage Bring Happiness?: Based on “The Story of an Hour”. https://ivypanda.com/essays/does-marriage-bring-happiness-based-on-the-story-of-an-hour/

Reference

IvyPanda. (2022, August 31). Does Marriage Bring Happiness?: Based on “The Story of an Hour”. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/does-marriage-bring-happiness-based-on-the-story-of-an-hour/

Work Cited

"Does Marriage Bring Happiness?: Based on “The Story of an Hour”." IvyPanda, 31 Aug. 2022, ivypanda.com/essays/does-marriage-bring-happiness-based-on-the-story-of-an-hour/.

1. IvyPanda. "Does Marriage Bring Happiness?: Based on “The Story of an Hour”." August 31, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/does-marriage-bring-happiness-based-on-the-story-of-an-hour/.


Bibliography


IvyPanda. "Does Marriage Bring Happiness?: Based on “The Story of an Hour”." August 31, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/does-marriage-bring-happiness-based-on-the-story-of-an-hour/.

References

IvyPanda. 2022. "Does Marriage Bring Happiness?: Based on “The Story of an Hour”." August 31, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/does-marriage-bring-happiness-based-on-the-story-of-an-hour/.

References

IvyPanda. (2022) 'Does Marriage Bring Happiness?: Based on “The Story of an Hour”'. 31 August.

Powered by CiteTotal, easy citation generator
More related papers