Character Analysis Of Mrs. Mallard In The Story Of An Hour

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Character Analysis of Mrs. Mallard By analyzing The Story of an Hour, Chopin employs several techniques in her writing to effectively characterize the protagonist, Mrs. Mallard. One can perceive Mrs. Mallard in a variety of perspectives due to the deliberate planning of characterization that allow the reader to identify with her, employing different writing techniques in the plot to create symbolic meanings that indirectly give the reader a sense of who she is becoming, and by incorporating the notion of liminality. These elements help to “shape” Mrs. Mallard’s personality and allow the reader to comprehend Chopin’s reasoning for portraying Mrs. Mallard in that specific manner. Chopin’s thoughtful formation of Mrs. Mallard help the reader …show more content…
Mrs. Mallard feels that she was oppressed by marriage, and viewed life as dull and unchangeable as she “breathed a quick prayer that life might be long. It was only yesterday she had thought with a shudder that life might be long.” (288). The second sentence demonstrates a contrast of emotions because she now believes that life has meaning as she feels independent and essentially “free” from her husband. It is important to see her this way because it demonstrates the unexpectedness of her initial reaction. Through the quotation it is evident that Mrs. Mallard believes that one should cherish a life in solitude as it brings newfound freedom and opportunities. As well, the beginning and the end of the story mention that Mrs. Mallard has heart trouble, which I feel is because she feels oppressed and restricted due to her marriage as we get an insight of her private thoughts; “There would be no one to live for her during those coming years: she would live for herself. There would be no powerful will …show more content…
Firstly, she creates a climatic twist when Mrs. Mallard’s husband returns home. It shatters Mrs. Mallard’s vision of her new life, and results in a tragic ending; “When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease – of joy that kills.” (289). It is essential that she is portrayed that way because it allows the reader to visualize the irony in this situation; she didn’t die of joy that the doctor’s had presumed, but rather the loss of joy was too much for her to carry. As well, when Mrs. Mallard is in her room pondering about her long life ahead of her as she “opened and spread her arms out to them in welcome.” This is important for the readers to perceive because she is very opportunistic and looks into the future with positive thoughts. Chopin also incorporates repetition to emphasize major ideas through one of the few words Mrs. Mallard speaks, “’Free! Body and soul free!’” (289). This is important to the reader because she is embracing the death of her partner, not grieving for as long as most women would. The environment also symbolizes imagery, which connects Mrs. Mallard’s new sense of happiness with the beginning of the spring season. The audience can see her transforming into a lively woman full of life and contentment as she is leaving her old life behind. Her last name, “Mallard”, represents a bird. It is important for the reader to be aware of this

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