Human nature in, “The Story of an Hour,” is seen to be yearning of freedom and independence. This is seen in the event where Mrs Mallard dies out of shock after seeing her husband was still alive yet o her, he was a sign of her misery caused by lack f freedom. She had been told of his death by her sister and a family friend. She suffers from a heart condition but after being told of the death gently, she is able to take her time to accept the loss and feel a sense of freedom. However, all her effort goes to waste because she finds out that all her effort to accept her newly found freedom was in vain. The way all the people around her treated her with caution means that human beings are overly sensitive and death is powerful in whichever way it is viewed. In this story, Mrs Mallard is given the news of the death with a lot of care but nobody can prepare her for the reappearance of her alleged dead husband (Chopin). This literary work gives the idea that freedom and independence is very important to human beings as it could even boil down to being a matter of life and death as was the case with Mrs Mallard and her husband.
The characters in this story illustrate this idea of how important it is to relay credible news and information to different people. Mrs Mallard in this instance had accepted her husband’s death, felt free, “free body and soul,” and independent. However, she is taken aback by the fact that the information she had acted on had not been confirmed and hence was wrong. The characters show how important it is to relay information that had been confirmed. Mrs Mallard, however, depicts the deep desire for freedom that can only be achieved in the absence of some people in the society.
The characters in this story speak about Mr Mallard’s death as they hear from somebody else. They all concluded that Mr Mallard was on the train that had been involved in an accident yet, he was nowhere near the train. He may have been scheduled to travel in the train but somehow missed it and survived. All the characters in the story believed that he had been killed and they all gathered their courage to relay the information to Mrs Mallard without knowing that the news would make her internally happy. They had granted newfound freedom without their knowledge (Sustana). However, the information that was even on the newspapers was wrong. Mr Mallard was unaware of the train accident so when he came home, he would be shocked to find people mourning his death and yet he was alive. He was innocently independent and his actions were harmless, yet to Mrs Mallard, he was her death stroke.
The events in this story that support the idea of freedom and independence. One of them is the newspaper, where Richards reads the news of the death of Mr Mallards from a train accident. This goes to show how important it is, for the bodies tasked with relaying information to the members of the public, to verify information. Mrs Mallard’s sister, Louise, was also a victim of misinformation. Both Richards and she, did not take the time to verify the information of the death of Mr Mallard because the newspaper is expected to be independent and free from bias (Sustana). Had the newspaper been known to have inconclusive information, they would have taken their time to verify the death by going to see the remains of the said deceased Mr Mallard. The simple fact that they did not do their due diligence because of their trust in a free and independent press, ultimately led to the death of Mrs Mallards.
The death of Mrs Mallards is termed as having been caused by shock out of joy. In reality, she had died out of shock caused by the sudden loss of her newly found freedom and independence. She had lived her life as a proper woman should according to the society. She cried as she should have in the eyes of the society but her tears were barely of grief. She was crying because she would definitely miss her husband but at the same time cried to relieve the oppression she had put up with all that time. The image of Mrs Mallard living a free life is clear from the thoughts she holds in private. She knows she should mourn but she knows that she is also embracing her new life. The narrator’s role in the story ensures that Mrs Mallard’s troubles are exposed fully. Her heart break is told from beginning to end as opposed to if Mrs Mallard was narrating in first person. The story is told to the end and the focus is on the desperate need for freedom and independence in Mrs Mallard.
To conclude, the information that is available to the members of the public is sensitive. People react differently to news, whether good or bad news. This means that in the event that people get bad news and accept it, a slight change to this information could be fatal as in the case of Mrs Mallard. After her sudden death, it is hard to tell how Mr Mallard will react. He may fall into a depression and if he does, there is no guarantee that he will not end up dying as a result as well. Mr Mallard is innocent all the while and does not understand that his presence has chocked up Mrs Mallard’s freedom and independence.
Chopin, Kate. “The Story of an Hour.” 1894. Online. 18 September 2018.Sustana, Catherine. “Analysis of “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin.” 12 March 2018. ThoughtCo. Online. 18 September 2018.
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