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My reaction to the character of Mrs Mallard

In “The Story of an Hour,” Kate Chopin describes to her readers a young woman’s response to her husband’s death, or at least his presumed death. The opinions readers will draw from this story will vary from person to person due to personal experiences. The experience and wisdom that I have gained through the trails and tribulations of my life help me to understand, relate, and even despise Mrs. Mallard’s character. On one hand, I feel pity for Mrs. Mallard. I think she felt trapped in a situation that she found to be inescapable. She felt lonely, restless, and did not know how to help herself. Yet, on the other hand, I do not feel sorry for her character. Almost immediately after finding out that her husband is dead, she rejoices at her newfound freedom. I think that her actions portray in her a selfish and cowardly nature.
The story takes place in the late nineteenth century, a time when women had very limited rights. Mrs. Mallard, a young woman who has a bad heart, plays the main character in this story. She receives news that her husband has been killed in a railroad accident. Mrs. Mallard is shocked and bewildered by the death of her husband. However, the feeling of bewilderment is only a temporary feeling that quickly leads to an overwhelming sense of freedom. A freedom she has desperately longed for. Yet, shortly after receiving the news of her husbands death there is a knock at the door. Upon opening the door, she discovers that her husband is not dead, for he is standing in the doorway alive and well. Mr. Mallard’s appearance causes his wife to die. “[T]he doctors … said she [has] died of heart disease – of joy that kills” (12). However, I believe that she dies because she realizes that she will never be free. In addition, I believe this fact disappoints her to the point where she seems to feel that life is not worth living without freedom.
I think Mrs. Mallard felt trapped in her marriage, a marriage wh...

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