The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

Lesson Plans by Becky Harvey

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The Story of an Hour Lesson Plans | Kate Chopin The Story of an Hour Summary

In Kate Chopin’s "The Story of an Hour", the main character, Mrs. Mallard, is a married woman with a heart condition. Her husband is away and news comes that he has perished in a horrific train accident. Her sister gently breaks the news to her, and silently, Mrs. Mallard rejoices. It turns out that she is not happily married and the thought of freedom from her bonds of marriage gives her joy. She assumes that she will be playing the mournful widow, but is she? This is a great story for your middle school students to read!

Student Activities for The Story of an Hour Include:

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The Story of an Hour Summary

Mrs. Louise Mallard is a sickly woman. Her heart is extremely weak. So when her husband is presumably killed in a violent train accident, her sister, Josephine, and her husband’s friend try to break the sad news to her gently, as to not cause her heart to fail. Predictably, Louise reacts to the news with tears. She flees upstairs, locking herself in her room.

The tears subside, and Louise begins to look at all of the beauty in the outside world. She suddenly realizes that she is free. With her husband dead, she admits to herself that she will be happy; although she loved him at times, there were time when she did not, which made her very depressed. Now with him gone, she could go out into the world and be “free, free, free!”

Josephine, fearing for Louise’s health, begs her to come out of the room. Finally, she does. While descending the stairs, she is greeted by her husband opening the door, disheveled, but alive and well. Louise screams and collapses of a heart attack. The doctor claims that she was so overjoyed to discover her husband still alive, but the reader is acutely aware that she, in fact, has died because she was so acutely disappointed by the loss of her newly found freedom.

Essential Questions for "The Story of an Hour"

  1. What makes you happy?
  2. Can you tell truth from falsity?

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Prefer a different language?

•   (English) The Story of an Hour   •   (Español) La Historia de una Hora   •   (Français) L'histoire D'une Heure   •   (Deutsch) Die Geschichte Einer Stunde   •   (Italiana) La Storia di Un'ora   •   (Nederlands) Het Verhaal van een Hour   •   (Português) A História de uma Hora   •   (עברית) סיפורו של שעה   •   (العَرَبِيَّة) قصة ساعة من الزمن   •   (हिन्दी) एक घंटे की कहानी   •   (ру́сский язы́к) История Одного Часа   •   (Dansk) The Story of an Hour   •   (Svenska) Berättelsen av en Timme   •   (Suomi) The Story of Tunnissa   •   (Norsk) Historien om en Time   •   (Türkçe) Bir Saat Hikayesi   •   (Polski) Historia Godziny   •   (Româna) Povestea Unei ore   •   (Ceština) Příběh Jedné Hodiny   •   (Slovenský) Príbeh Hodiny   •   (Magyar) A Story egy Órás   •   (Hrvatski) Priča o Satu   •   (български) Историята на Един час   •   (Lietuvos) Iš Valandą Istorija   •   (Slovenščina) Zgodba ure   •   (Latvijas) Stāsts par Vienu Stundu   •   (eesti) The Story of Hour