Friday, September 12, 2008

Change in an Instance

Wow how ones emotions can go from the high of highs to the low of lows. This is vividly evident in Kate Chopin's "The Story of An Hour." As Mrs. Mallard finds out one day that her husband has died in a railroad accident, she becomes overwhelmed with emotions. She takes it as anyone would after just finding out that their loved one has passed, "She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister's arms." (57) After hearing this as a reader i thought this to be another sad and dramatic story about someone loosing a loved one. The beginning of this story was very deceiving as to what would happend at the end. As Mrs. Mallard began to get more worked up and overwhelmed she left her sister and went up to her room to be alone. As she enters her room the narrator describes a big open window in front of which sat a "comfortable, roomy armchair." (57) As Mrs. Mallard sat down she was "pressed down by a physical exhaustion that haunted her body and seemed to reach into her soul." (57) When the narrator describes it has an exhaustion that has reached into her soul, it's almost as if this sudden news has consumed her life. It has taken all happiness and sadness away from and is all that she is. It is what she is now made of. This is an interesting way to describe such a pain as death.
As she sits in the chair in front of the window she begins to be overcome with a feeling, "something was coming to her and she was waiting for it, fearfully." (57) As i read this i had no idea what to think. It first struck me as something from her husband, some memory good or bad that she was beginning to have after his passing. Then she whispers the words "free! free! free!" (57) and it began to unfold right in front of me. She had suddenly realized she was free from all attachements, and oddly enough she was happy about it. This was extremely unexpected, and without warning. As these thoughts crept into her head, and she thought longer about each of them, they consumed her and it was almost as if you could see the excitement on her face through the words. She was the the highest of highs, until she walks down the stairs with her sister and in walks none other than her supposidly diceased husband. In the trauma of him walking she let out a piercing scream, and fell to the ground and we find she has died of hear disease. As the last line of the story says, "of joy that kills." She was taking joy in someone elses sorrow, and it came back to bite her. I guess a life lesson that we all can take into our own lives.

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