The Story of an Hour (according to me)


After reading the text, one can most assuredly see that the book does have a melancholy tone that shine through in this short piece. Mrs. Mallard is a very complex character; although the reader can see she loves her husband, they can also understand her joy for new found freedom after his passing. Considering the time period of the late 1800’s (1894 to be exact) , women did not have that many rights including suffrage and were still treated as second class citizens to their male counterparts.
    Kate Chopin herself, was a young widow much like Mrs. Mallard, which is probably the sad inspiration for “The Story of an Hour.” Even the title of the story conveys the menagerie of emotions involved in the circumstances of the tale. Mrs.Mallard was under the impression that her husband, Brantley Mallard, was dead. The story ends with Mrs.Mallard finding out that her husband was still alive.
    The text says something to the effect that she died of a heart attack due to shock. This may be a very good possibility, but there are other explanations that could answer this event. Of course you could stay with the notion it was of the literal sense she died, back in this time period there were far more diseases and less treatment options available to the general public. Sanitation issues were abundant and medical technology was nothing like it is in today’s terms. She may have died from countless other diseases. Considering all that, another perspective is she died in the figurative way. She was probably heartbroken by her loss of newly found freedom. It must have been such a whirlwind of emotions to take in within a short period of time. Mrs. Mallard had been grieving the loss of her husband; along with that comes the thought of the funeral arrangements, what to do with all of his belongings, how to finance the funeral, and how she was going to pay for her everyday needs after needing a husband to take care of her (yet another sickness of the time period.)
    Continuing on with her emotions is the acceptance of his death. She now had to answer to no one but herself, and could make all decisions based upon her judgment with no discrepancies. Her thoughts were completely her own, which was an unexplored territory for Mrs. Mallard. Upon receiving news her husband was alive, all of that was taken from her. A figurative part of her died that day, a part she can never get back. If Brantley did indeed die for real, she would be cautious to have such freedom again because she would only assume it would be taken from her again.


About Trish Reznick

Writer. Pessimistic optimist. News junkie. I write real estate advertising pieces, but my heart's in music journalism. To make the real estate biz more exciting I put music references in to a good percentage of my writings. I guess you could call me a liberal. I have an extensive record collection and I prefer them over MP3s any day... unless that particular day I plan on leaving my apartment. Considering I'm an extrovert, that is quite frequently. I'm a scorpio...which is a nice way of saying I have intense mood swings... I thought that was just called being a chick.

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