In the “Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin two major themes that relate to the plot are gender and freedom. Mrs. Mallard’s life represents gender inequality within her society. Also, her life represents freedom given and freedom being taken away. Essentially, this short story initiated changes that brought about feminine empowerment.

Mrs. Mallard faces issues of gender inequality. The society in which she lives expects that she will react to her husband’s death mildly. However, Chopin says, “She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance” (p.2). The way she interprets her husband’s death, weeping quickly indicates that she does not follow the standard form of grieving which is expected of her gender.

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