"The Story of an Hour" is a short story about a young married lady named Louise Mallard with a heart condition, reacting to the death of her husband in a train accident. It describes the myriad of emotions she undergoes after hearing about the death of her husband Brently. The story takes place during a one-hour period in an American home in the late 19th century.
"The Story of an Hour" was written by Kate Chopin on April 19, 1894. The title refers to the time between Mallard hearing about her husband's death and discovering he is still alive. The shock of seeing her husband alive is too much for her heart, and she dies. During the 1890s, "The Story of an Hour" was considered controversial because its female protagonist feels liberated by the news that her husband died. Emily Toth argues in "Unveiling Kate Chopin" that Louise Mallard had to die for the story to be published.
"The Story of an Hour" was first published as "The Dream of an Hour" on Dec. 6, 1894. It was reprinted Jan. 5, 1895 by "St. Louis Life" as "The Story of an Hour." The 1984 film "The Joy That Kills" is based on the short story.