Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” Most of the story of Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” focuses on the reaction of Mrs. Mallard when she finds out about the death of her husband in a train accident. The first paragraph leads off by letting you know the fragile state of Mrs. Mallard’s heart and how those around her where very careful not do or say anything to cause too much excitement or anxiety in her life.
It also sets the stage for the audience to have a little sympathy for Mrs. Mallard, knowing the condition she is in.
The line “Knowing that Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble, great care was taken to break to her as gently as possible the news of her husband’s death. The writer wants the reader to be sympathetic towards Mrs. Mallard. The story starts with Mrs. Mallard’s sister Josephine and Richard a close friend of her husband taking into consideration Mrs.
Mallard’s condition and how she would respond to disheartening news. Mrs. Mallard reaction to her husband’s death is very much justified but one could argue that she was also very self-involved.
After she received the news of her husband’s passing, she did become very distract but not too long afterwards, she slowly began to start thinking about her life now and what the future holds for her. The thought of her whispering to herself “free, free, free! ” and the phrase “Free, Body and soul free! ” that she was chanting over and over would make you wonder why that of all things would come to mind.
Is it because she has been trapped in a bad relationship for years and was yearning to dissolve it?
Even though I along with the writer probably sympathize with Mrs. Mallard, some might say that Mrs. Mallard was cold and calculating because of her actions. She was thinking only of herself and what she was going through at the time. Her feelings are all she can trust right now even though relatives and friends are there to comfort her. She has to mask her true feelings which probably caused her to pass of anxiety or excitement before she could see her husband to dispel the rumor of his death. The more I read about Mrs. Mallard, I would have to say as I soon started to feel like she was a little too self-involved. She displayed feelings of sorrow in the presence of her guest but once she excused herself from the room, she just sat in a chair in her room and looked out the window as her mind wandered into clouds as she thought about her surroundings. Who could believe that she not even once thought of her husband while she spent time alone in her room? The fact that he only crossed her mind while she was thinking about his funeral could be taken as heartless.
Mrs. Mallard just had thoughts of how she would carryon without him. Chopin did show signs thru her writing that Mrs. Mallard loved her husband but it was also made clear through her thoughts that it was time that she starts living for herself. Some might say that Mrs. Mallard was a sympathetic person and justified in her actions or cold and calculating and viewed her as a self-involved person but in the end she lived as many other women have and passed away without any malice in her heart.