Analyzing The Story of an Hour
The Story of an Hour is a short essay 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 her body and soul are now free. Despite the loss of Mr. Mallard she is overcome with happiness and feels rejuvenated with the prospect of being free in years to come. In a sense she feels like a bird that has just been let out of its cage after years of captivity. After a while she heads back down stairs to talk to Richards, the man that brought her the news of her husband?s 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.
Mrs. Mallard plays a character that has to deal with very serious emotions. Her emotional state goes from one end of the spectrum to the other in only an hour. It seems that she dies because of the joy of seeing her husband alive. I think she dies because of an entirely different 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 an elixir ran through her body and made her feel brand new and wonderful. 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. Mallard?s 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. She chose death over leaving the happiness that she had so briefly enjoyed. She did not want to go on living wishing that she had the freedom she had once known.
The story is told through Mrs. Mallard?s 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 seeing him alive. People could argue both points but the clues Mrs. Mallard gave us shows the way to the real meaning of this story. The story being told from Mrs. Mallard?s point of view is essential in making the readers aware of the underlying reasons of her death. When she dies everyone has positive memories. Mrs. 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.
This story symbolizes the way many women feel in the world today. To many women feel that they are prisoners in their relationships. Not very many women feel that they have the freedom they deserve. Most women do not have the courage to end unhappy relationships so they just go on being miserable. 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. The Story of an Hour symbolizes the way some women feel confined in relationships.