The Story of an Hour
by Kate Chopin
The Story of an Hour Time Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Paragraph)
There was something coming to her and she was waiting for it, fearfully. What was it? She did not know; it was too subtle and elusive to name. But she felt it, creeping out of the sky, reaching toward her through the sounds, the scents, the color that filled the air. (9)
Time slows down as Mrs. Mallard "wait[s]" for whatever's coming. She doesn't know yet but she's scared of it. Meanwhile, the world stays vibrant and beautiful, with "sounds," "scents," and "color[s]" all pointing to a larger horizon than what she's experienced, stuck in her house. The world outside is full of that vitality and freedom missing from her own interior world.
But she saw beyond that bitter moment a long procession of years to come that would belong to her absolutely. And she opened and spread her arms out to them in welcome. (13)
The use of "bitter" here seems to indicate Mrs. Mallard's love for her husband, and her sadness at his passing. Yet the fact that she can "s[ee] beyond" it either shows an unusual grasp of perspective, or shows that Mrs. Mallard isn't completely broken up about her husband's death. She can see into a future where she's alone – and she likes it.
Her fancy was running riot along those days ahead of her. (19)
Time seems to stretch ahead of Mrs. Mallard like a winding road, a road she's sending her imagination along. She's indulging in fantasizing. Clearly, this isn't the measured, reasoned argument of an individual trying to talk herself into or out of grief. Mrs. Mallard can't control "[h]er fancy" as it looks at all the "days ahead."