The Story of an Hour

Kate Chopin
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Main Ideas


Main Ideas Motifs


Louise’s weeping about Brently’s death highlight the dichotomy between sorrow and happiness. Louise cries or thinks about crying for about three-quarters of “The Story of an Hour,” stopping only when she thinks of her new freedom. Crying is part of her life with Brently, but it will presumably be absent from her life as an independent woman. At the beginning of the story, Louise sobs dramatically when she learns that Brently is dead, enduring a “storm of grief.” She continues weeping when she is alone in her room, although the crying now is unconscious, more a physical reflex than anything spurred by emotion. She imagines herself crying over Brently’s dead body. Once the funeral is over in her fantasies, however, there is no further mention of crying because she’s consumed with happiness.