Mrs. Mallards Captivity
The Story of an Hour is a short story that describes what Mrs. Mallard goes through when she finds out her husband has been killed in a train accident. At first she is extremely sad, but when she looks out the window it becomes apparent to her that she is free. Mrs. Mallard is overwhelmed with the thought that she is now free to do whatever she wants. Despite the loss of Mr. Mallard she is overcome with happiness, and feels like the burden she has carried for so long has been lifted.
After a while she heads back down stairs to talk to Richards, the man that brought her the news of her husbands death. As soon as she gets to the bottom of the stairs Mr. Mallard walks in looking a little travel stained. The shock of seeing her husband alive causes her to have a heart attack and die.
It seems that she dies because of the joy of seeing her husband alive. I believe she dies because of the opposite reason. She had a history of heart problems but those could be attributed to the fact that she was unhappy and felt like she was in captivity. When Mrs. Mallard realized that she was free it seemed that shock ran through her body and made her feel brand new. I believe that if her husband had really died she would have lived many more years.
Upon finding out that her husband was indeed alive she died. The doctor said that it was over joy that caused her heart to fail. The way Mrs. Mallards character had acted up until this point leads us in another direction. Her death was almost like a suicide. When Mr. Mallard showed up she then knew that she would be returned to captivity.
The story is told through Mrs. Mallards point of view. If the story had been told by anyone else it would have had no meaning at all. The story would have just been a women dying of heart disease because she could not take the emotional roller coaster of finding out her husband was dead and then that seeing him alive killed her.
Mallard is happy because she gets the freedom she wanted so desperately and Mr. Mallard believes his wife died of joy because he was still alive. Mrs. Mallard had a not so pleasant way of obtaining her freedom but she did it none the less. Her husband never did anything really wrong and always showed her love, but she just was not happy.
Chopin, Kate. "The Story of an Hour." Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. Ed. Edgar V. Roberts and Henry E. Jacobs. 2nd Compact ed. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2003. 295-297.