English 123 A06
Cong Yin 1343685
Mrs. Mallard’s unhappy marriage in “the story of an hour”by Kate Chopin
In Kate Chopin’s short story “The story of an hour”. Chopin keenly explores the status being of married women back in the late 1890s that they were isolated, not tolerated for seeking freedom for themselves, and the pathetic values of the society they have to deal with. Mrs. Mallards in the story who gains and loses her freedom in an hour suffers from her marriage. When her sister Josephine told her the death of her husband, she “wept at once” and realized that the freedom was belong to her in the future(Chopin 15). Then she became excited and believed the rest of her ...view middle of the document...
Mrs. Mallard is one of these women in 1890s.There is a big difference between she own and lose her freedom. she gives people a primary impression as old, unhealthy and powerless since she is “afflicted with a heart trouble” However, she actually is “young, with a fair, clam face, whose lines bespoke repression and even a certain strength”(Chopin 16). It is her sad marriage makes her haggard and weak. She has the “certain strength” and she could be positive and full of vigor like what she can see in” the open square before her house” However, she is not. Unlike the trees, rain, new life and the peddler (15), Mrs. Mallard does not have freedom. Therefore, she appears to be powerless and weak. It is the shackles of marriage take her freedom away. Nevertheless, by the time Mrs. Mallard realizes that she could have freedom in the future after she knows the news of her husband’s death. She appears to be excited and happy. ” She breathed a quick prayer that life might be long. It was only yesterday she had thought with a shudder that life might be long.” (16 Chopin). She starts to enjoy her life rather than suffers and fears. Apparently, according to the Mrs. Mallard’s pain is because the of lack of freedom in her marriage
Mrs. Mallard is quite different from other women in 1890s. She is a person ahead of time who can hardly be understood by others. She values freedom more than her love and life. She feels “A clear and exalted perception” and “dismiss the suggestion as trivial.”(16) at the time she gains the freedom. Also, she believes freedom is the “strongest impulse of her being”. However, other characters in the story can never know how excited she feels when she realize that she would be free and independent in the future. For instance, her sister” kneeling before the closed door with her lips to the keyhole, imploring for admission(16)” and worries Mrs. Mallard might be too sad for her husband’s death. Also People do never know the truth of Mrs. Mallard’s death. They all believe is “joy that kills”(16). Cunningham, Mark believe that women in late nineteenth-century American society as so bleak that the attempt to break from the life-denying limitations of patriarchal society is itself self-destructive (Mark 49). Unluckily, Mrs. Mallard is one the “self-destructive” people who wants to break the” patriarchal society” to get freedom and wants to be treated equal with man. However, she has few supporters and her thought can just bring her more pains for her marriage.
Moreover, Mrs. Mallard has a deep ambivalence about her marriage. At that time ,For those who tasted love, they did not get a happy ending and for those who choose traditional marriage, they are locked into a cage called “home”. Mrs. Mallard is not an...