Sunday, September 14, 2008
Thought on "The Story of an Hour"
I had read this story before, I think it was about 2 years ago. When I started reading I recognized parts but did not necessarily remember the end, which came as a satisfying shock. I felt it came thoroughly full-circle in a darkly comedic way. Perhaps this is not how it was supposed to be taken, but I thought it was hilarious. Granted, the oppression of women is sad, something which should not be done, but I feel that it may be taken for granted in modern times that women should not be oppressed. Because of that I was not affected too terribly about that bit of subject matter and instead was stricken by the irony. It is stated first of all that great pains were taken to break the news to her carefully because of her condition. After the news was broken we get her reaction, immediate weeping and grief, but then we are presented with the image of a spring day. Spring being the time of re-birth and renewal, we know immediately that things are to be more complicated than a simply sad widow. I thought it was great how she then was frightened by her own thoughts. She, perhaps because of the oppression (meaning her husband forcing her to realize that he is an important part of her life), or perhaps because he simply was her husband, fought off the feeling of being relieved of some heavy burden. But she does succumb to them and becomes happier for a time than she can ever remember having been. This seems like it could have been a satisfying end, but with the return of her husband and her death and then the "reason" for her death the audience gets a true shock, and my way of dealing with that shock was laughter. I have no laughed out loud at a story in some time but the ending to this story made me positively break down. I hope I don't seem callous.