The Story of an Hour

Kate Chopin

Important Quotations Explained

Quotes Important Quotations Explained
2. 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.

This quotation appears close to the end of the story, just before Louise leaves her bedroom to go back downstairs, and illuminates the extent of Louise’s elation. Before Brently’s death, Louise viewed her life with trepidation, envisioning years of dull, unchanging dependence and oppression. The “shudder” she felt was one of dread. Now, however, she is free and independent, and her life is suddenly worth living. Whereas she once hoped life would be short, she now prays for a long, happy life. This passage, besides showing us how fully Louise feels her independence, also highlights the unexpectedness of Louise’s reaction. Rather than dread a life lived alone, this solitude is, for Louise, reason enough to anticipate the future eagerly. When Brently returns, she dies, unable to face the return of the life that she’d dreaded so much.