The Deadly Happiness of Mrs,. Mallard
Modes of Analysis Character Analysis on Story Of An Hour The Story of an Hour is short story in which many things happened during that hour. With in an hour the main character Mrs. Mallard experience emotions that she never felt before in her life.
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During the process of the story we begin to see a character that is weak sick and summited to society regiment. At the moment of the unexpected, Mrs. Mallard showed a different aspect of herself. We tend to react in the different prospective ways when an unexpected event happens.
We tend to have a close look at our real selves. The Story of An Hour by Kate Chopin reflects the dramatic process of Mrs. Mallard’s character through the death of her husband. It also demonstrates that the true identity cannot be sheltered forever. Mrs. Mallard character had a distinctive personality. A woman who summited her self to the mental abuse of her husband and she became sick from all the hurting she kept inside (227). She remains quiet during her life not allowing anyone to know her deepest thoughts. She was not free to do as she wanted. Mrs.
Mallard had the desire of getting in touch with the world outside and to be able to speak when ever she wanted to. The detail I am interested in the most is the reaction of Mrs. Mallard toward the saying “Free Body and Soul free! ”(228). It is not easy to understand her reaction. I think that reaction is the result of her inside conflict in which she hesitates about how to determine her own feelings. She doesn’t know how to react, she should feel sorry about the death news, but she feels happy about freedom (228). At the beginning, when I saw her reaction about the news of her husband death, I began to analyze the character.
At the beginning of the story, I saw a cold hearted character, as I continue reading; it became cleared to me that Kate Chopin was trying to send a message through her story. In the beginning of the 19th century, this reaction was unacceptable in society. However through the modern readers’ eyes; her reaction is the explosion of her true feelings which were repressed for a long time. During the time line in which the story was based on, a wife had to be subservient to her husband and her life was confined to the house. Women in those days were not permitted to divorce; the only way they would acquire liberty was by becoming widows.
A traditional role like that, makes Mrs. Mallard consider her marriage as a burden and she feels free when she gets to know about her husband’s death. That’s the reason Mrs. Mallard became joyful when she heard the news of her husbands death. I think that she felt overwhelmed with her everyday life of a servant, with complete dependence on Brently his decisions and maybe his dominance. To me it seems that the character of Mrs. Mallard is a person who is disappointed with the harsh reality of her everyday living, and that she is also subconsciously looking for a chance to escape from an unhappy marriage.
She loved her husband and sincerely cried for him when she hears of his death, but at the same time she is happy to acquire her freedom again(228). Through Mrs. Mallard reaction, I can see that she suffers a lot from her married life. Mrs. Mallard tries to use her will to beat the feeling of freedom and the desire for independence, but her will loses, and her true feeling takes control over her thinking. As a result, her reaction is different from what is usual and expected. Her exclamation of freedom impact the readers, because of the unexpected reaction of Mrs.
Mallard, by Chopin allowing this expression in the story it helps the reader understand the inside struggle of her own life. Mrs. Mallard is a vivid character that identifies the life of Chopin. It indicates her private needs, emotion and expectations which she kept inside. Chopin lived in an era where women were not heard. Personally, I think that the saying free is the reaction that expresses the feelings about society condemnatory ways to women. To Mrs. Mallard it is like a prison having to be under the oppression of her husband authority.
She had lived under the control of her husband, with little identity and time of her own. Maybe to under his imposed private will it was confusing for her ability to identify herself. The expression in the reaction helps the reader identify more strongly with her need for individuality. I also can identify with Mrs. Mallard with myself: she is a lady who sacrifices herself for her husband. Her reaction shows that despite a lot of suffering, she is willing to maintain the wife role the last moment. She only dares to let her true feeling pour out after she hears of his death and in a place away from public view, in her room (228).
Her saying tells me that in her life she has never experienced such a moment of great joy, happiness and excitement like this. Later on in the story, she received the disappointment of her life when she learns her husband was alive. That brought her to her death which in another way she became free of her oppression (228). When I read this story for the first time, it seemed to be a story of many unpredictable details. To me, the story is still highly appreciated until strict social bias and peoples expectations about gender roles in general and marriage in particular are denied completely.