Mawage In Kate Chopin's The Story Of An Hour

The Princess Bride’s tongue-tied Impressive Clergyman slowly and monotonously paints a picture of marriage, “Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam... And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva.” Is marriage the beginning of a picture to be painted beautifully, or simply a canvas restricted by a frame? Young Mrs. Mallard has just heard the tragic news of her husband’s sudden, unexpected death. Paralyzed by the news, she sobs and runs to her room…alone. In her grief, she is progressively comforted by the gradual realization that her husband’s death may not be a picture shattered by tragedy, but a newly opened canvas, her canvas - a canvas unframed and free. In “The Story of an Hour,” …show more content…
In the master bedroom, “There stood, facing the open window, a comfortable, roomy armchair. Into this she sank, pressed down by a physical exhaustion that haunted her body and seemed to reach into her soul (115).” The narrator expresses Mrs. Mallard’s chronic repression pointing out that she “sank, pressed down” into the chair from “exhaustion” and from being “haunted.” Exhaustion, to use up or consume completely, indicates that marriage has taken its toll over the years. To be haunted is to have or show signs of mental anguish or torment. She does not seek refuge from her haunted exhaustion by lying on the bed, a symbol of marital unity, but in a “comfortable” and “roomy” armchair. The armchair is a lone entity that envelopes her, symbolizing that being alone can bring warmth and solace rather than cold, hard loneliness. The chair is “facing an open window.” Mrs. Mallard did not turn the chair, it was already “facing” the window symbolizing that she looked out the window prior to this moment; however, the window is now “open.” It is symbolic that the window is “open” providing opportunity to move through and out of the window; moreover, through and out of her marriage. Combining the symbols of an armchair and an open window allows the reader to see that Mrs. Mallard, rather than grieve the end of her marriage, is comfortable with the realization and thought of moving …show more content…
Mallard’s spoken words and detailed descriptions of her new affect, Chopin is able to demonstrate that marriage can be repressive. Mrs. Mallard spent time alone in the bedroom pondering the effects of her husband’s sudden death. Eventually, she verbally reacts to the death of Mr. Mallard as she whispers “over and over under her breath: Free, free, free…Free! Body and soul free!” (116). “Free” is not a word that a grieving widow uses within an hour of her husband’s unexpected death. Repeating the word tells the reader that she is attempting to convince herself that her freedom is real. Enamored by the expression and bathing in reflection, she repeats the phrase. Freedom of “body and soul” indicates she was wholly, mentally and physically, encased by marital responsibility. By whispering, Mrs. Mallard realizes that her marriage to Mr. Brantley Mallard still maintains control over her actions, as she is a grieving widow and only she can enjoy her new-found freedom at this point. No one must know that she views her husband death as liberating. Upon leaving her room, she reveals her new zest for life. The reader is told that: “Louise…was feverish with triumph in her eyes…[carrying] herself unwittingly like a goddess of Victory. (116,117) “Louise” is Mrs. Mallard’s name. For most of the story she is bound by marriage to use Mr. Mallard’s name, which represents a loss of individual identity. Chopin supports this picture by using the words “triumph” and “goddess of

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