The Hidden Truth Essay

801 WordsApr 14, 20114 Pages
The Hidden Truth The main character is Mrs. Mallard, who has a heart condition. One day, Mr. Mallard's friend, Richards, learns that Mr. Mallard has died in a railroad disaster. Mrs. Mallard's sister Josephine tries to break the news to Mrs. Mallard softly because of her heart condition. Upon hearing the news, Mrs. Mallard begins weeping, a reaction that Chopin notes as different from most women, who would refuse to believe it. Mrs. Mallard soon locks herself in a room with a window, hurls herself into a large chair, and, sobbing, gazes out at the world bustling around her. Soon, her sobs turn to gasps. She approaches a climactic moment where "her bosom rose and fell tumultuously" as she embraces freedom and joy in the world. She turns the word "free" over in her mouth, whispering it with zest. Josephine, her sister, arrives at the door, begging her sister to emerge. As Louise comes out, she carries herself like the "Goddess of Victory", and descends the stairs with her sister. As the two move to the bottom of the stairs, the door swings open to reveal Brently Mallard, Louise's supposedly dead husband. Richards flings himself in the way to hide the apparition from Mrs. Mallard, but is too late. She sees her living husband, and her freedom is ripped from her arms. This sudden tragedy, the reader is led to believe, kills her. However, the doctors on the scene diagnose her as having collapsed from a "joy that kills", an overt jab at men's inability to understand women. Character development In Kate Chopin's story, "The Story of an Hour," the protagonist, Mrs. Mallard is informed of her husband's apparent death. Simply described as "young, with a fair calm face, whose lines bespoke repression and even a certain strength," Mrs. Mallard had loved her husband -- "sometimes." As she ponders a life without him, she realizes how trapped she had felt under

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