Three Readers Response to The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

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Three Readers Response to "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin

My belief on marriage is a sacred vow taken by two people which joins them in union. Most people carry the belief that marriage should occur only when two people are in love; although this belief is common it is not always the case and people marry for a variety of reasons. In the short story "The Story of an Hour" Kate Chopin suggests that in the case of Mrs. Mallard and Mr. Mallard, love was not a deciding factor for their reason to get married. Though the response of three readers, one being myself, we will explore the character of Mrs. Mallard and the idea of love in her marriage. Kate Chopin has given little detail about the Mallards and therefore left much to the imagination of the reader. Although there are similarities in details between readers such as: point of view, setting, and character, each reader brings new perspective and ideas. This type of analysis of the text allows a richer and more knowledgeable outlook; not only by enhancing ones own ideas by introducing new ones.

The first reader has a guided perspective of the text that one would expect from a person who has never studied the short story; however the reader makes some valid points which enhance what is thought to be a guided knowledge of the text. The author describes Mrs. Mallard as a woman who seems to be the "victim" of an overbearing but occasionally loving husband. Being told of her husband's death, "She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance." (This shows that she is not totally locked into marriage as most women in her time). Although "she had loved him--sometimes," she automatically does not want to accept, blindly, the situation of being controlled by her husband. The reader identified Mrs. Mallard as not being a "one-dimensional, clone-like woman having a predictable, adequate emotional response for every life condition." In fact the reader believed that Mrs. Mallard had the exact opposite response to the death her husband because finally, she recognizes the freedom she has desired for a long time and it overcomes her sorrow. "Free! Body and soul free! She kept whispering." We can see that the reader got this idea form this particular phrase in the story because it illuminates the idea of her sorrow tuning to happiness.

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