The Story of an Hour
The story of the hour is, to me, an interesting short story of the insight into the life thoughts of a woman struggling with a life that is proper and sociably acceptable and her own desires. Upon reading the opening passage “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.” (1) The reader, in this case I, would understand quickly that the main character of the story, Mrs. Mallard, must be treated with tenderness. We also learn that grave news is coming her way in a most careful manner. Reading further the actions of the main character would show shock, confusion, surprise, and other anxiety of a life without someone that is presumed to be her love as indicated by this line. “She did not hear the story as many have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance.” (3)
It was with that line I paused to consider that nevertheless, what the actions of anyone would be if informed of such news. Would it be expected for him or her would sit silent and numb as thoughts conflicted in his or her head until reaching a critical point? I recalled my own experience that would be somewhat similar and compared the two thoughts to each other. When I reached the conclusion that yes, it would be expected for someone to be in a state of shock and sit in quiet thought as the information is being processed. This line of thought was confirmed quickly with the following line “She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister’s arms.” (3) it was also this point that purposefully mislead the reader to a red herring thought that perhaps the main character was struck heavily with grief.
Such remained the thought of the now grieving Mrs. Mallard recently widowed in tragedy until reading a line that struck me as curious. The line in question is “ She said it over and over under her breath: ‘Free, Free, Free!’” (11) It was at this point I realized that the shock was not from grief but from a desire come to fruition, a thought that had been held in fancy thought now finally true for the main character. I then had to reroute my thoughts and reread what I had already and reassess my earlier thoughts. That the tears shed may not have been from love lost, but from dreams fulfilled in thunderous joy. Shock of sudden freedom from what would have been...