Story of an Hour- Diagnostic Essay of Analysis

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The Story of an Hour is about a woman with a fragile heart, who is carefully informed of her husband Brently Mallard's death due to a railroad accident. As one reads the story, it is simple to believe that Mrs. Mallard weeps at the news of her husband’s death, for now she is a young widow who may have been deeply in love. However, there is much more depth and there are layers to the story that spark the question of how well one can truly know what another feels if one only knows a short part of the story. Mrs. Mallard maintains a façade of loving her husband, which is also perpetuated by the world view that a married couple loves each other. She is oppressed by her husband, whose “face…had never looked save with love upon her, fixed and gray and dead”. His lack of love and emotion for her, in addition to the stigma of marriage being an eternal bonding contract, leads her to feel trapped and lonely. In the scene when she is gazing out at her window, she sees before her a new world, teeming with rebirth: She could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life. The delicious breath of rain was in the air. In the street below a peddler was crying his wares. The notes of a distant song which some one was singing reached her faintly, and countless sparrows were twittering in the eaves. Spring signifies the start of life anew, which is what she faces now. Rain feeds new growth; the peddler is independent; and birdsong is often characterized by feelings of lightness and buoyancy. Louise’s name is only mentioned at the end of the story, when her sister Josephine begs of her to open the door to her room. Prior to her husband’s death, she had only been addressed as Mrs. Mallard, a constant reminder that she was trapped and had no identity except as Brently Mallard’s wife. Louise never truly knew what romantic love

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