Repression In Mrs. Chopin's The Story Of An Hour

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When I first began reading "The Story of an Hour," Mrs. Mallard seemed to me an old woman and as we are told in the very first line, “afflicted with a heart trouble.” I was surprised in the eighth paragraph when Chopin tells us that "She was young," but even more interesting to me that she is described as having “a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression” which depicts her as being old for her age. The description of this repression is backed up when Chopin gives us the reason for Mrs. Mallard’s “monstrous joy” which reads thus “There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature.”
After reading through this story
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It’s this “Swiss cheese” effect that makes the story so interesting; by allowing the reader to “plug in” his/her own details the story takes on varied connotations. An example of this is the beginning paragraph where the reader gets the impression that this woman is going to be extremely upset that her husband has died in a train accident. The people closest to her have gone to great lengths to cushion the blow of her husband’s death; however, we are not given any details as to the relationship they had in the past or any relevant information. By doing this the author allows the reader to form his/her own false interpretation of how this woman is going to react. We see this technique used early into the story and we, as readers, are strung along until we hear the woman utter the words “free, free, free” which really throws the reader off the track he/she expected to follow. The rest of the narrative begins to twist the story to the exact opposite of what the reader was waiting to have happen. We find a woman who instead of being upset and heart-broken over her husband 's death is experiencing complete joy over the death of another human being. Which, of course, now gives us the impression that she has been mistreated in this relationship and that, perhaps, this death is for the best. All this makes the reader justify the way the woman reacted, but in the end it 's Mrs. Mallard who dies upon seeing her husband alive and well. This ending definitely conjures up some questions that are difficult to

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