The Heart of Mrs. Mallard Essay

542 WordsMar 22, 20093 Pages
Mrs. Mallard is clearly a conflicted woman. She has some internal issues with her marriage, and medical issues with her heart. She feels oppressed living with her husband, and has been clearly looking forward to the day of “liberation,” or when she or her husband dies. After several readings, the main symbol that comes is revealed is the heart. The concept of the heart, physically and spiritually, plays a major role and significance in the story. Mrs. Mallard at the beginning and at the end of the story, is protected by her friends and family because of her weak heart. As stated at the beginning, “Knowing Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble, great care was taken to break her as gentle as possible with the news of her husband’s death.” So the only reason for the delivery of this delicate news with great care is none other than because she has a weak heart. Also at the end of the story, “Richard’s quick motion to screen him from the view of his wife,” was all in an attempt to protect her from her weak heart. As can be inferred, her heart is a major hindrance in their lives, and is constantly needing attention. Another role the heart plays in the story is Mrs. Mallard’s liberation. She feels oppressed by her marriage and her husband, and wants to live for herself. When she goes to the room by herself and sits in the large, comfortable chair, she whispers to herself, “Free! Body and soul, free!.” This shows that she feels like her heart, her soul, is trapped by her marriage, and with the news of the death of her husband, she is first filled with grief, because she did love him, but later with glee when she realizes that she is free. The biggest role the heart plays in the story is the irony it creates. The final irony of the story is how even after all the preparation that is made to deliver the news gently, and after her feeling completely free from

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