The Central Misunderstanding In "The Story Of An Hour", "Kansas" And Mislaid Plan"

960 words - 4 pages

Reading the “Story of an Hour”103, “Mislaid Plans” 98, and “Kansas” 107, one can seethat a common trend runs through them, and with a careful analysis , one can say that thecritic and scholar Elizabeth Spoto is not far from wrong when she writes in her article“Insight and personality” that each of the above story is based on some centralmisunderstanding.In the “Story of an hour”, Chopin begins her story based on a misinformation about thedeath of Mr. Mallard 103.It is this piece of misinformation that has unraveled series ofmisunderstanding that beset the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Mallard. She used this story toportray the misunderstanding that couples tend to have in their marriages. It also revealsthe perceptions people have about other people’s marriage. In the case of Mr. and Mrs.Mallard, as portrayed by the story, Josephine the sister of Mrs. Mallard and Richards thefriend to Mr. Mallard, thought the tragic news of the death of Mr. Mallard would breakthe heart of Mrs. Mallard, so they have gone to the extent of breaking the news “to her asgently as possible” (104), in order not to trigger her heart attack. But this turn out ratherthat the death of her husband is more a relief to her than grief. It is a piece of news that will set her “body and soul free”(105) and will not caused her to have a heart attack asJosephine and Richard thought.Another misunderstanding that is found in the story is Mrs. Mallard’s desire to be alonein her room after she received the news of her husband’s death. Her being alone ismisunderstood by Josephine that her sister was going to “make herself ill” (105).Insteadshe ceased that moment to think of the many years ahead of her which she will enjoywithout any control from her husband. “There would be no one to live for during thosecoming years; she would live for herself” (105).Moreover the tragic news of the death has been misunderstood by Richards andJosephine. It is Richards who was at the newspaper office when the news is received(104). They all believed the news of his death but to the contrary Mr. Mallard “had beenfar from the scene of the accident, and did not know there had been one” (105).Furthermore, the element of love in the story of an hour is misunderstood. If the lovehusband and wife had for each other is real and genuine, the husband will not subject hiswife to ill treatment. The “powerful will bending” (105) suggest that the husband had noreal love for the wife, if he does he would not have imposed his will on his wife (105).On the other hand the wife thinks her husband loves her. So she referred to her husbandas “the face that had never looked save with love upon her” (105).Finally the cause of death of the wife is another episode in the story which can equallybe considered as being misunderstood. In the story we have seen how elated the wife wason hearing about the...

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