“The Story of an Hour” is Kate Chopin’s short story about the thoughts of a womale after she is told that her husband also has actually died in an accident. The story first appeared in Vogue in 1894 and also is this particular day one of Chopin’s the majority of popular works.

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By the Editors of soimg.org

Read the story onlineNew The popularity of the story CharactersTime and also placeThemesWhen the story was composed and also publishedWhat doubters and also scholars sayNew Questions and answersAccurate textsAll of Kate Chopin’s short stories in SpanishArticles and books about the storyA graphic version of the storyA Christmas opera based upon the story


You have the right to check out the story in our online message. If you’re citing a passage from this or other Kate Chopin stories for research functions, it’s an excellent principle to check your citation versus among these printed messages. This is especially essential via “The Story of an Hour,” bereason some online versions of the story–and also some publiburned versions–omit a word that alters the interpretation of what Kate Chopin is saying.

In the middle of the story, some digital versions’ sentence reads, “There would certainly be no one to live for throughout those coming years; she would live for herself.” Compare that through the sentence as it appears in our online text: “Tbelow would be no one to live for her in the time of those coming years; she would live for herself.” If you don’t see why the word matters, or if you desire to understand why there are 2 versions of the story, inspect our inquiries and also answers below.


“The Story of an Hour” characters

Louise MallardBrently Mallard: husband also of LouiseJosephine: sister of LouiseRichards: frifinish of Brently Mallard


“The Story of an Hour” time and place

The story is collection in the late nineteenth century in the Mallard residence, the residence of Brently and Louise Mallard. More about the area is not stated.


“The Story of an Hour” themes


Readers and also scholars regularly emphasis on the concept of freedom in “The Story of an Hour,” on selfhood, self-fulfillment, the interpretation of love, or what Chopin calls the “possession of self-assertion.” Tbelow are better details in what doubters and also scholars say and also in the concerns and also answers below. And you have the right to review around finding themes in Kate Chopin’s stories and also novels on the Themes web page of this website.


When Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” was created and also published


It was written on April 19, 1894, and initially publiburned in Vogue on December 6, 1894, under the title “The Dream of an Hour,” one of nineteenager Kate Chopin stories that Vogue publiburned. It was republished in St. Louis Life on January 5, 1895. The St. Louis Life version contains several alters in the message. As we explain in the questions and answers section of this web page, it has the word “her.” 

You can find out as soon as Kate Chopin wrote each of her brief stories and as soon as and also where each was initially publimelted.


What movie critics and scholars say around “The Story of an Hour”


A good deal has been created about this story for many type of years. Some representative comments:

The story is “one of feminism’s sacred messages,” Susan Cahill writing in 1975, once readers were first finding out Kate Chopin.

“Love has actually been, for Louise and others, the main purpose of life, but through her new perspective, Louise comprehends that ‘love, the unsolved mystery’ counts for exceptionally little. . . . Love is not a substitute for selfhood; indeed, selfhood is love’s preproblem.” Barbara C. Ewell

“Mrs. Mallard will grieve for the husband also that had loved her yet will ultimately revel in the ‘monstrous joy’ of self-fulfillment, past ideological strictures and also the repressive impacts of love.” Mary Papke

Kate Chopin “was a life-long connoisseur of rickety marrieras, and also all her wisdom is on display in her piercing evaluation of this thoaround average one.” Christopher Benfey

“In the mid- to late 1890s, Vogue was the location wright here Chopin publimelted her most daring and surprising stories <‘The Story of an Hour’ and also eighteen others>. . . . Since she had Vogue as a market—and also a well-paying one—Kate Chopin wrote the critical, ironic, brilliant stories around women for which she is known this day. Alone among magazines of the 1890s, Vogue published fearmuch less and truthful portrayals of women’s resides.” Emily Toth

Her husband’s death pressures Louise to reconcile her “inside” and also “outside” consciousness—a female double consciousness within Louise’s thoughts. Though constrained by organic determinism, social conditioning, and marriage, Louise reclaims her own life—however at a price. Her fatality is the result of the complications in uniting both halves of her civilization. Angelyn Mitchell

Louise Mallard’s fatality isn’t resulted in by her joy at seeing her husband’s rerevolve or by her sudden realization that his fatality has granted her autonomy. She dies as an outcome of the strain she is under. The irony of her fatality is that even if her sudden epiphany type of is freeing, her autonomy is empty, bereason she has no place in culture. Mark Cunningham

Louise’s fatality is the culmination of her being “an immature and shenable egotist,” Lawrence Berkove says. He focuses on the scene in Louise’s bedroom and also points out exactly how unrealistic her notion of love is. Her fatality, he writes, is the just place that will offer her the absolute freedom she desires.

“This astonishing story strongly shows that the sudden success which Bayou Folk carried Kate Chopin was of vital prominence in the author’s own self-fulfillment. It gave her a details release from what she evidently felt as repression or frustration, thereby releasing pressures that had actually lain dormant in her. It is very considerable that she created ‘The Story of an Hour,’ a severe example of the theme of self-assertion, at the precise minute when the first reviews of the book had both satisfied and also increased her key ambitions.” Per Seyersted

You can search the titles in our considerable databases of publications and short articles for more information around this short story—indevelopment in English, German, Portuguese, and Spanish.


Q: I don’t understand also what you mean about what happens if “her” is left out of the sentence at the top of the page, “Tbelow would certainly be no one to live for her throughout those coming years; she would certainly live for herself.” How does consisting of “her” change the definition of the sentence?

A: Without “her,” the sentence implies that Louise Mallard has actually been living for her husband also, that he has been the center of her life, that he has actually been her factor for living. With “her,” the sentence implies that Brently Mallard has actually been managing his wife’s life, that his “effective will certainly bending hers” to his, has been bfinishing what she desires to what he wants, has been forcing her to live the means he wants her to live, to perform what he wants her to perform.

That’s a vital distinction. “Her” in the sentence defines what Mrs. Mallard implies by her newly recognized “possession of self-assertion,” what she indicates by whispering, “Free! Body and soul free!”

Q: Why are tbelow 2 versions of that sentence, with and also without the “her”?

A: When the story was published in Vogue in 1894, the word “her” was not consisted of. It’s not clear if “her” remained in the copy Kate Chopin sent to Vogue or if the Vogue editor or printer left it out deliberately or accidentally. Some printed versions and also some websites today use the Vogue variation. You have the right to see the sentence in question three lines dvery own on the appropriate column:

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The story was reprinted the complying with year in St. Louis Life, which was edited by Sue V. Moore. Emily Toth, Chopin’s latest biographer, describes Moore as “Kate’s friend” and also a women who had actually advocated Chopin’s work-related for years. A clipping of the Vogue story pasted on a sheet of paper (and kept currently in the Missouri History Museum) mirrors two handwritten alters, one of which is the placed word “her,” and also the St. Louis Life variation of the story consists of those two alters, together with a couple of others (we are grateful to the staff of the St. Louis Public Library for offering us with this copy), You have the right to watch the sentence in question four lines dvery own on the appropriate column:

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St. Louis Public Library

Daniel Rankin, Chopin’s earliest biographer, says those transforms were “made by the writer.” Per Seyersted, who edited the Complete Works of Kate Chopin, states they were “incredibly likely made by the editor .” Seyersted, nevertheless, had the 2 alters in his message of the story in the Complete Works. We usage Seyersted’s message here. We incorporate the “her.” Many type of published resources and other websites encompass it, also.

Q: You say that the story was first published under the title, “The Dream of an Hour.” Who readjusted that title and why?

A: We have the right to more than likely recognize that readjusted it, yet we don’t recognize why. The story appeared in Vogue in 1894 as “The Dream of an Hour.” Even as late as 1962, critic Edmund Wilchild ongoing to describe it under this title. But in 1969 it was referred to as “The Story of an Hour” in the Complete Works of Kate Chopin.

It seems likely that Per Seyersted, that edited the Complete Works, changed the title, perhaps bereason Kate Chopin referred to “The Story of an Hour” in among the 2 account books wbelow she tape-recorded how a lot she earned for each of her stories. In the various other account book, she referred to the story as “The Dream of an Hour.” (Chopin’s account books are preserved in the Missouri History Museum and also are transcribed in Kate Chopin’s Private Papers.)

It may be, yet, that if Seyersted adjusted the title, he did so because a clipping of the Vogue story pasted on a sheet of paper (and hosupplied now in the Missouri History Museum) has actually the word “Dream” crossed out and the word “Story” inserted.

Q: What does the current title mean?

A: The action of the story seems to play out in about an hour’s time.

Q: Do you recognize how much Vogue magazine passist Kate Chopin for the story?

Yes. Kate Chopin taped in 2 account books exactly how a lot she earned for each of her stories and novels. Vogue passist her $10 for “The Dream of an Hour,” the title under which the story showed up. Due to the fact that of inflation (the usual boost in the level of prices), that $10 in 1894 would be worth around $280 today.

Q: Is it true that this is Kate Chopin’s the majority of well-known story?

A: It probably is true. The story definitely appears in a great many kind of anthologies these days. Kate Chopin’s sensitivity to what it sometimes feels choose to be a womale is on influential display in this work–as it is in The Awakening. Chopin’s often-commemorated yearning for freedom is likewise on screen here–as is her feeling of ambiguity and her complicated means of seeing life, of seeing, for example, that it is both “males and also women” who “believe they have actually a best to impose a personal will upon a fellow-creature.”

From 1929 to about 1970, “Désirée’s Baby” was the finest well-known of Chopin’s works, pincreased by doubters and often reprinted. When the Complete Works of Kate Chopin was publiburned in 1969, “The Storm”–unwell-known till that time–came to be famed practically overnight, as did “The Story of an Hour.” Today “Désirée’s Baby,” “The Story of an Hour,” and also “The Storm,” are heavily discussed by scholars and also routinely read in university and second college classes about the people, although a couple of other stories–among them “A Respectable Woguy,” “Lilacs,” “A Pair of Silk Stocmajesties,” “Athénaïse,” and also “At the ‘Cadian Ball”–are additionally generally read. However before, as we define over, tright here is proof that “The Story of an Hour” is today particularly well-known.

Q: I’ve review on a webwebsite that readers were scandalized by the story once it was publiburned. Why?

A: It’s a mystery to us how the authors of that webwebsite could perhaps understand that readers in the 1890s were, in truth, scandalized by the story. Publication reviewers were certainly upcollection by Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening in 1899. Tright here are publiburned reviews showing that. Tright here is, however–so far as we can tell–no published evidence that the “The Story of an Hour” set off a scandal among readers.

However, it is true that, as Emily Toth says in Unveiling Kate Chopin, “Kate Chopin had actually to disguise reality. She had to have actually her heroine die. A story in which an unhappy wife is all of a sudden widowed, becomes rich, and also lives happily ever after . . . would have actually been a lot as well radical, much also threatening in the 1890s. Tbelow were boundaries to what editors would certainly publish, and also what audiences would accept.”

New Q: Some students in my course think that Mrs. Mallard planned her husband’s death. Is there any kind of proof that she did?

A: If this were actual life — if you knew Mrs. Mallard, if you had actually been a frifinish or a loved one of hers, if you construed the means she thinks and also watched the means she has actually been acting throughout her life, then possibly you could discover some proof to assist you answer your question. 

But “The Story of an Hour” is fiction. It’s a occupational of art.

One benefit of art — of a story, a film, a song, etc. — is that it have the right to let us see somepoint that we could not view any various other means. In this story, for instance, we can see inside of Mrs. Mallard’s mind to know precisely what she is reasoning for that one hour in her life. That’s somepoint we virtually never understand around an additional person, simply as various other civilization practically never before recognize specifically what we’re reasoning. 

So an excellent story, a great job-related of art, is choose a gift. It gives us somepoint distinct. 

One disadvantage of art — of a story, a film, a song, and so on — is that what it gives us is all we have actually. We don’t know anything even more about Mrs. Mallard than what we have actually in those words of the story. We can’t recognize any kind of more about her, because tright here is nopoint even more to recognize. If Kate Chopin had written other stories about Mrs. Mallard in which she told us more about her life and what kind of perkid she is, then perhaps we could much better answer the question.

But this is the just story in which Kate Chopin writes about Mrs. Mallard. If you read the story aacquire, if you examine the words in it closely, you’ll check out that tright here is no evidence that Mrs. Mallard planned her husband’s fatality. So we need to conclude that she did not. If Kate Chopin had wanted us to understand that she did, then she would have actually told us that in the story.

Q: I’m studying literary works in France and am searching for a film adaptation of “The Story of an Hour.” Does one exist?

A: Thomas Bonner, Jr. (Xavier University of Louisiana) provides this response:

The Delight That Kills was created by Cypress Productions in 1984 and also released the following year as part of the Public Broadcast System’s American Playresidence series. Tina Rathborne (periodically spelled Rathbone or Rathbourne) directed; she and Nancy Dyer created the script. Set in New Orleans in the 1870s, the film does not follow the virtually existential absence of a particular setting and also time in “The Story of an Hour.” It leans toward the New Orleans settings of The Awakening. It was filmed in among the historical houses in the French Quarter of New Orleans through Ann Masson being the film’s art director. I always felt that the story, if it has a certain setting, is closer to the St. Louis location as it evokes Chopin’s loss of her father in a train wreck and that the film assisted explicate The Awakening more than the story.

And Emily Toth (Louisiana State University) adds that “there’s at least one other film of ‘The Story of an Hour,’ by Ishtar Films.”

Q: Do you occur to know if “The Story of an Hour” is published in any type of Swedish book or magazine? I have uncovered it virtual (Swedish title: Berättelsen om en timme), but nowright here in print. I have an old photocopy of the short story, which is obviously from a book, yet no one I have talked to (consisting of librarians) knows wbelow it is from.

A: We have discovered no answer to this question. If you have valuable indevelopment, would certainly you call us?


A few of the works provided here may be accessible virtual through university or public libraries.

Distel, Kristin M. “‘Free! Body and also Soul Free!’: The Docile Female Body in Kate Chopin’s ‘The Story of an Hour’.” New Woman’s Writing: Contextualising Fiction, Poetry and Philosophy, Subashish Bhattacharjee and also Girindra Narayan Ray, editors. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2018, pp. 65–78.

Doloff, Stalso. “Kate Chopin’s Lexical Diagnostic in ‘The Story of an Hour’.” Notes And Queries 61 (259).4 (2014): 580–81.

Berenji, Fahimeh Q. “Time and also Gender in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wall-Paper’ and also Kate Chopin’s ‘The Story of an Hour’.” Tarih Kültür Ve Sanat Araştırmaları Dergisi/Journal of History, Culture & Art Research, vol. 2, no. 2, 2013, pp. 221–234.

Sümer, Sema Zafer. “‘The Story of an Hour’ Or The Story of a Lost Lady in The Shadow of the Patriarchy’s Ideology.” Selçuk Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Dergisi 28.(2012): 191-196.

Diedewell-off, Nicole. “Sharing Chopin: Teaching ‘The Story of an Hour’ to Specialized Populations.” Arkansas Review 43 (2012): 116–20.

Mayer, Gary H. “A Matter of Behavior: A Semantic Analysis of Five Kate Chopin Stories.” ETC.: A Review of General Semantics 67.1 (2010): 94-104.

Shen, Dan. “Wen Xue Ren Zhi: Ju Ti Yu Jing Yu Gui Yue Xing Yu Jing.” Fopower Literature Studies/Wai Guo Wen Xue Yan Jiu 32.5 (2010): 122–8.

Jamil, S. Selina. “Emovements in ‘The Story of an Hour’.” Explicator 67.3 (2009): 215-220.

Wan, Xuemei. “Kate Chopin’s View on Death and also Freedom in The Story of an Hour.” English Language Teaching 2.4 (2009): 167-170.

Emmert, Scott D. “Naturalism and also the Brief Story Form in Kate Chopin’s ‘The Story of an Hour’.” Scribbling Woguys & the Quick Story Form: Approaches by Amerideserve to & British Women Writers. 74-85. New York, NY: Peter Lang, 2008.

Chen, Hui and also Chang Wei. “Meng Jing Shi Fen De Fen Ceng Gou Si Jie Du.” Qilu Xue Kan/Qilu Journal 4 (2007): 111–4.

Cunningham, Mark. “The Autonomous Female Self and also the Death of Louise Mallard in Kate Chopin’s ‘Story of an Hour’.” English Language Notes 42 (2004): 48-55.

Huntley, Paula. The Hemingmethod Book Club of Kosovo New York: Penguin, 2004.

Miall, David S. “Episode Structures in Literary Narratives.” Journal of Literary Semantics 33 (2004): 111-29.

Deneau, Daniel P. “Chopin’s ‘The Story of an Hour’.” Explicator 61 (2003): 210-13.

Cho, Ailee. “.” Nineteenth Century Literature in English 7 (2003): 119-34.

Berkove, Lawrence I. “Fatal Self-Assertion in Kate Chopin’s ‘The Story of an Hour’.” Amerihave the right to Literary Realism 32 (Winter 2000): 152-58.

Toth, Emily. Unveiling Kate Chopin. Jackchild, MS: UP of Mississippi, 1999.

Benfey, Christopher. Degas in New Orleans: Encounters in the Creole World of Kate Chopin and George Washington Cable. Berkeley: U of The golden state P, 1997.

Johnkid, Rose M. “A Rational Pedagogy for Kate Chopin’s Passional Fiction: Using Burke’s Scene-Act Ratio to Teach ‘Story’ and also ‘Storm’.” Conference of College Teachers of English Studies 60 (1996): 122-28.

Koloski, Bernard. “The Anthologized Chopin: Kate Chopin’s Brief Stories in Yesterday’s and Today’s Anthologies.” Louisiana Literature 11 (1994): 18-30.

Mitchell, Angelyn. “Feminine Double Consciousness in Kate Chopin’s ‘The Story of an Hour’.” CEAMagazine 5.1 (1992): 59–64.

Bender, Bert. “The Teeth of Desire: The Awakening and also The Descent of Man.” Amerideserve to Literature 63 (1991): 459-73.

Papke, Mary E. Verging on the Abyss: The Social Fiction of Kate Chopin and also Edith Wharton. New York: Greenlumber, 1990.

Ewell, Barbara C. Kate Chopin. New York: Ungar, 1986.

Miner, Madonne M. “Veiled Hints: An Affective Stylist’s Reading of Kate Chopin’s ‘Story of an Hour’.” Markham Review 11 (1982): 29–32.

Seyersted, Per. Kate Chopin: A Critical Biography. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 1969.

Cahill, Susan. Woguys and also Fiction: Short Stories by and also about Women. New York: New Amerihave the right to Library, 1975.


Cartoonist Gabrielle Bell’s Cecil and Jordan in New York (Drawn and Quarterly, 2009) is a repertoire of graphic short stories.

Here is the initially web page of a story referred to as “One Afternoon,” based on Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour”:

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Gabrielle Bell reimagines “The Story of an Hour” within a larger narrative, which, the New York Times says, “is narrated by a young womale who’s simply moved to the city through her filmmaker boyfriend; it’s a clear-cut tale of impecunious 20-something artists till halfmeans through, as soon as the narrator abruptly transforms herself right into a chair, gets taken house by someone that finds her on the sidewalk and decides that her old life won’t miss her. The engine of these mercilessly oboffered stories is squirminess: emotional awkwardness so intense that it deserve to erupt into magic or just knot itself into scars.”

A Christmas Opera Based on “The Story of an Hour”


In December, 2019, the Gramercy Opera in New York at Brooklyn’s Montauk Club presented an opera “Story of an Hour.” The opera company’s announcement read:

“Based on the 1894 short story by Kate Chopin, in a timeless operetta-esque style, ‘Story of an Hour’ is a one-act opera set in the 1800s in the time of the Christmas season. It complies with the story of a fatal train accident and also the consequences it has on two young women—one of whose husbands is thought to have been on the train.”

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“Story of an Hour” was the winner of the inaugural Salzman-Gramercy Opera Advancement Prize. The music was created by Michael Valenti and also the libretto by Kleban- and also Stacey Luftig. The actors contained Kate Fruchterguy, Sable Strout, Aaron Theno, and also Jay Lucas Chacon.

The opera played on Dec. 13 and also 14, 2019. You have the right to view an excerpt of the opera.

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Scott Little, a student at Kent State College in Ohio, developed an opera based on” The Story of an Hour” in 2018.