Looking At Story Of An Hour English Literature Essay


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Mrs. Louise Mallard displays the character of a protagonist, the center of attention, and the person around whom all the other characters revolve. Louise characteristics were clearly noticed at the beginning of the story, when she received the news that her husband Mr. Mallard had died. Louise at the beginning of the story is "afflicted with a heart trouble" (1) and is conceived by some to be very frail. Louise was unwell, with a genteel condition, which means she can still act like and be treated like a lady. It is obvious that Louise did not work outside the home or engage in manual labor by the description of her "two white slender hands" (10). Louise is also physically described as "young, with a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression and even a certain strength" (8). In other words, youth is on her side; she's pretty; and usually, it seems like, pretty placid. "lines" of Louise's face indicate that she's keeping a lot of her emotions deep inside, or that she's full of "repression."

Through Louise the readers see the social repression that women felt in that time period. Women were locked into marriages that were probably loving at least Louise says her husband "never looked at her save with love" but were oppressive in their treatment of women. There were social situations of the times with Louise seemly trapped in an repressing marriage to her husband. Chopin states in her writing of this story that "it is common knowledge that love is not always mutual between two people in a marriage." Marriage back then was as much about monetary comfort, social status in the society and acceptance instead of about love. No children were mentioned in this story which makes me wonder if there were fertility problems between Mrs. Mallard and her husband. It seems from the description that Mrs. Mallard has been trapped in this marriage for a long time even though she is still young. I do not think her marriage to her husband was arranged; instead she has been coerced by society to marry despite what she may have felt in her heart and soul. I believe Louise truly loved her husband, but is it possible to love a man and not be married to him? Louise heart condition was not only physical it was also psychological and emotional. Chopin tried to make the readers of this story believe that hysterically women are weak, timid, and sometimes irrational. When Louise marries her husband Brently she loses her identity and assumes a new one as Mrs. Mallard. One would think that it is normal for a wife to assume her husband's name in marriage and in that time, and to put it frankly, become the property of the husband, it cannot be ignored that Louise lost a part of herself. Louise is very in tune with this loss and even though her love for her husband keeps her from it, the freedom she feels when she thinks he is dead becomes unavoidable and enjoyable.

When the storm of grief had spent itself she went away to her room alone. She would have no one follow her (3). Louise confines herself to the upstairs room in order to achieve the physical and mental state she desires. She wants to escape and so she shuts herself away in her room. Even though Louise is finding freedom behind the closed door, Josephine doesn't understand it. Perhaps, though, if Josephine understood what Louise was really thinking, she'd be even more convinced about the danger of being alone. Into this [armchair] she sank, pressed down by a physical exhaustion that haunted her body and seemed to reach into her soul (4). Louise's "exhaustion" almost seems to squish her. In addition to deliberately confining herself to a single room in her house, now it seems like her tiredness is confining her body and "pressing down" on her soul. She can't escape from this tiredness or run from it, just like she can't escape from the bad news about her husband's death. The overwhelming word and thoughts Louise has when her husband dies is "free" (10, 14). Independence seems terrible and awesome at the same time. Feeling like she's going to be free almost makes Louise into a whole new person. Suddenly, she's excited about her future, whereas before she dreaded it. She wants to live now, whereas before that she didn't.Wernher Magnus Maximilian Freiherr von Braun was a German-American rocket scientist, astronautics engineer and space architect, becoming one of the leading figures in the creation of rocket technology in Germany and the United States. He was a member of the Nazi party and a commissioned SS officer...

The incongruity of the ending of this story is that Mrs. Mallard doesn't die of joy as the doctor's claim but actually from the loss of joy. The death of her husband Brently gave her a glimpse of a new and happier life, and when that new life is swiftly taken away, the shock and disappointment kills her (21).


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