Time- Time is an important theme in Kate Chopin's, "The Story of an Hour". Time flies in "The Story of an Hour" which is almost a full "happy hour" in the mind of Mrs. Mallard but the perfect hour is ruined in the last minute. Although Louise is not the happiest character at the beginning of the story, her life takes a turn for the better when she learns that her husband has been killed in a railroad accident. In this short period of time, the door has opened for Louise and she realizes that she can now live for herself instead of her husband living for her. During her last hour, she experiences joy which suddenly comes to an end when Brently walks through the front down having no knowledge of everyone thinking he was dead. Each change in Louise's mood take only a few seconds because of the magnitudes of the events in the short hour in which this story takes place.
Freedom vs. Confinement- In the short periods of the story when Louise feels confined, she shows signs of depression and the fact that she does not want to live the life of just being a wife. Louise has yearned to live for herself for ever since she was married but because of her husband, she has not been able to live her dream. Another way in which Louise is confined is from her heart condition. She is treated slightly differently because of this heart disease and others feel the need to treat her more softly and kindly because of this difference. Staying in the house as a house wife is what she was never able to break throughout the story because she never left her home and therefore never escaped her greatest confinement. The short feeling of freedom she experiences only last for a short period of time. Louise would be considered as a very lucky woman to most because she is an upper class wife, a nice husband, and a nice house. She is unsatisfied with her life though because she wants to live for herself and not have her husband holding her back. When she ventured to her room, she saw freedom in the clouds and sky out of her window but never quite gets there because she was confined by her house. In the end, the theme of freedom vs. confinement is what causes her death because the shock of seeing Mr. Mallard walking into the door, the loss of her freedom, is what shocks her and causes her to have a heart attack which kills her.