The Story of an Hour

Pdf fan Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

Brently Mallard Character Analysis

Louise Mallard’s husband, who is incorrectly reported to have died in a train accident. When he returns home that day, he has no idea that anybody thinks he has died. Brently is a kind and loving husband to Louise, but despite that is an impediment to Louise’s freedom simply through the institution of marriage.

Brently Mallard Quotes in The Story of an Hour

The The Story of an Hour quotes below are all either spoken by Brently Mallard or refer to Brently Mallard. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Women in 19th-Century Society Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Signet edition of The Story of an Hour published in 1976.
“The Story of an Hour” Quotes

What could love, the unsolved mystery, count for in face of this possession of self-assertion which she suddenly recognized as the strongest impulse of her being!

Related Characters: Louise Mallard, Brently Mallard
Page Number: 219
Explanation and Analysis:

On the heels of admitting to herself that she sometimes loved Brently (and sometimes did not), Louise comes to the conclusion that the point is irrelevant. By calling love “the unsolved mystery,” Chopin frames marriage as a somewhat abstract concept, in contrast to the more tangible and clear concept of “self-assertion” and independence. Love, it seems, pales in comparison to freedom and self-empowerment, which is readily available if only an individual acknowledges it.

It is noteworthy that Louise recognizes her “possession of self-assertion” as “the strongest impulse of her being,” since the word “strongest” contradicts the previously established idea that women—and specifically Louise—are weak, fragile, and passive.This implies that the only reason she was previously weak was because her ability to realize her own “self-assertion” had been hindered by the oppressive qualities of love and marriage.

A+

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other The Story of an Hour quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Get the entire Story of an Hour LitChart as a printable PDF.
The story of an hour.pdf.medium

Brently Mallard Character Timeline in The Story of an Hour

The timeline below shows where the character Brently Mallard appears in The Story of an Hour. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
“The Story of an Hour”
Women in 19th-Century Society Theme Icon
Freedom and Independence Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
...overwhelm Louise and worsen her condition, tells her as calmly as possible that her husband, Brently Mallard, has been killed in a train accident. Brently’s friend Richards, who learned about the... (full context)
Women in 19th-Century Society Theme Icon
Freedom and Independence Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
...enlivened vigor. She pays no attention to whether or not the joy she feels about Brently’s death is terrible or unkind. Although she knows that she will inevitably experience grief when... (full context)
Women in 19th-Century Society Theme Icon
Freedom and Independence Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
...humans to blindly and stubbornly impose themselves on one another. Although she had sometimes loved Brently (and sometimes had not), she feels relieved to finally be in possession of an intense... (full context)
Women in 19th-Century Society Theme Icon
Freedom and Independence Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
...do so, they hear the sound of a key opening the front door. Without warning, Brently Mallard appears in the doorframe, utterly unaware of any train accident; he had been far... (full context)