Why did she feel this way?

Essay by latrenaCollege, UndergraduateA+, March 2004

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I liked "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin because of the different circumstances in which the reader can place the main character, Mrs. Mallard, in for being upset when she realized that her husband was not dead. From the reaction of Mrs. Mallard, the reader may perceive that Mr. Mallard may have been somewhat abusive towards her. I feel that Mrs. Mallard's reaction towards her husband's death was proper at the beginning, middle, and just as proper at the end. Even when one's abuse is by a loved one, he or she will be saddened for a brief moment by the individual's death. I do not think that anyone should act the way people expect him or her to. I do not feel that Mrs. Mallard was selfish for her reaction towards her husband's death.

The reader may feel that Mrs. Mallard was abused because of her husband not showing her any kind of affection.

In my opinion, since "The Story of an Hour" was written in 1894, most men, still today, do not show affection towards their wives. In Mr. and Mrs.Mallard's marriage, there may have been some type of "understood" love between them. Mrs. Mallard stated that she had loved her husband sometimes but not often. From that quote, Chopin is informing the reader that Mrs. Mallard may not have been happy with her marriage.

Once Mrs. Mallard announced that she was "free, free, free! Body and soul, free!" (14), Chopin alerts the reader to understand that abuse may have been in Mrs. Mallard's marriage and that she was relieved of her husband's death. I think that by Chopin's usage of the word "body," I perceived that Mr. Mallard might have been physically abusive towards his wife also.