In the Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin
In the Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin, the relatives and friends of Mrs. Mallard knew that the news would need to be told carefully to her. They are worried about her heart condition that could affect her gravely by hearing the sad news of her husband’s death. As witnessed after breaking the news by her sister, Mrs. Mallard “wept at once, with sudden wild abandonment, in her sister’s arms” (Chopin 3). But behind their backs, when Mrs. Mallard was alone in her room, she expresses her feeling of relief and happiness from being finally free from her husband. As she uttered the word ‘free, free, free” (Chopin 11).
Paragraphs 5-9 slowly introduce the real feelings of Mrs. Mallard to the readers. As the news starts sinking into her mind and analyzes her present situation, another emotion starts building upon her but somehow afraid to admit that Brent’s absence is offering her hopes of better life. As Chopin describes the scene, “the delicious breath of rain was in the air” (5), “She felt it, creeping out of the sky” (9).
I don’t think that the story would have been more poignant if it happens in a day or more than in an hour. Because I would imagine that Mrs. Mallard would have experienced the joy of freedom a little longer before she died as the result of reappearance of her husband in her life.
Chopin narrates her story in the third person to enable her to tell the story to the reader about the main character. She can say something that the character does not know as opposed to the character being the narrator herself. For example, the story starts by saying “Knowing that Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble” (Chopin 1). Another advantage is that the author can give a fair and just description of Mrs. Mallard’s situations and feelings, like when she tells that Mrs. Mallard was scared at first when she thought of freedom, but then later on she looks forward to it with great anticipation. I also see that in this style of writing, the real identity of the characters in the story are kept confidential, if ever they are representing actual happenings or persons in real life.