Characterization of Louise Mallard

Outer characterization

Louise Mallard is the main character of the short story “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin. Her outer characterization reveals that she is married to Brently Mallard and that she has a sister named Josephine.

Louise Mallard is described as “young, with a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression and even a certain strength”. Readers are also informed that Louise Mallard is “afflicted with a heart trouble”. The mention of a "certain strength" in Louise seems to be in contrast with how Josephine and Richards see her, since they seem to believe that Louise is actually weak.

Inner characterization

Louise’s inner characterization is mostly constructed by following her train of thought after she finds out that her husband has died. According to the narrator, Louise’s initial reaction distinguishes her from other women, whose reactions in the same context would have been different: “She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance. She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her siste...

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