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The Liberating Story of a Tragic Hour

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The Liberating Story of a Tragic Hour

While reading "The Story of an Hour", I found it to be both a liberating story as well as a tragic story. I found Mrs. Mallard's situation to be something that some women are faced with. It is shown that Mrs. Mallard's loyalty to her husband is very strong. It appears that she has grown accustomed to her husband and only stays with him because she does not want to bring disgrace upon her family and she knows no other way.

What I found very interesting was how Mrs. Mallard's emotions were so covertly displayed. As Mrs. Mallard was sitting in the chair, gazing out the window, I got a slight sense of how she really feels. "There were patches of blue sky showing here and there through the clouds that had met and piled above the other..." (261). When I read this I felt like there was some sort of hope or freedom that she was feeling, like under all the pressure and burden that she received from her husband, it was now lifted, and she is free, she is her own person now. This thought was confirmed when she started whispering "Free, free, free!" (262).

I found it interesting that the only time that we hear her first name is after she learns of her husband's death- when she feels the most free. Before that she was always referred to as Mrs. Mallard, she, or wife. When Louise married Brently she became Mrs. Mallard, she lost who she is and assumes a new persona. The freedom she feels when she thinks her husband is dead becomes obvious. She gets to be the person that she used to be.

I found it obvious that Mrs. Mallard has been liberated through her husband's death. Mrs. Mallard does admit that she is not completely without care. It is show that she "would weep again when she saw the kind, tender, hands folded in death..." (262). This shows that she still cares about him, but she is happy that she is free. But much to Mrs. Mallard's dismay, her liberty is quickly taken back when Brently Mallard walks through the door. With this sight upon her, Mrs. Mallard surrenders to her weakened heart. It was an almost give away that her death is due shock, the shock that her freedom was just a dream.

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