The Window the Woman and the Heart
I read a story, after I finished reading it my mind was still reeling over what I had just read. Stories like this are quite impressive magnificent; they draw the reader into the story and leave them with a strong impact. How we interpret a text is in itself impressive, as every person is different, every interpretation is too. As I read “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin, I could not help but notice that Kate Chopin uses the window to symbolize the future that Mrs. Mallard has been pinning for all her life. Chopin also uses Mrs. Mallard’s heart condition as a symbol of Mrs. Mallard’s marriage. The short story is consequentially the story of an oppressed woman who had to confine herself to the social norms of marriage. Through Formalism Criticism, we will explore the various symbols that Chopin uses to describe how Mrs. Mallard yearns for freedom, and through the Feminist Criticism, we will explore how the institution of marriage oppresses our heroin.
“The Story of an Hour” is the story of Mrs. Louise Mallard who suffers of a weak heart. This being the first we know of Mr. Mallard, she is carefully being told that her husband had just passed away in a train accident. As every good wife should, Mrs. Mallard breaks out in grief. At first, the story goes, as it should. Then Mrs. Mallard goes into her room where she begins thinking, and her first thought is that she is free. Mrs. Mallard after years of being in an unhappy marriage is finally free to do what she wants, with no one to hold her back. Yet everything is against her, when she finally accepts that her life will begin now, her husband enters his home, unscathed and well, not having known that everyone thought him dead, and Louise Mallard at the site of him, dies.
The first sentence of the “The Story of an Hour” starts out with informing the reader “that Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble” (Chopin). The heart problem that Mrs. Mallard suffered was both physical and mental. The heart is normally a sign of love and happiness, Mrs. Mallard’s heart was broken, weak, troubled, meaning she was unhappy with her life and mainly her marriage. This is evident when Mrs. Mallard thinks to herself “she had loved him--sometimes. Often she had not” (Chopin). A marriage cannot possibly be happy when there is no love from both sides. It is adamantly clear that Mrs. Mallard did not love her husband even if he “had never looked save with love upon her” (Chopin). The marriage was also troubled due to the lack of children, after all when Louise says, "there would be no one to live for during those coming years” (Chopin). A mother would never selfishly think only of herself, unlike Mrs. Mallard did, After all most mothers live for their dear children.
The window and her room, a prison and the outside world, to most a room of four walls is a prison, and since it has already been stated that Mrs. Mallard did not have a pleasant...