ENG 1101 Fall 2021 0277

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  • 11/16 questions on "The Story of an Hour"
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    Prof. Masiello

    2) A very short story called “The Story of an Hour”:


    The story is told in real-time, which means it takes an hour, hence its title.

    It also has irony at the end and foreshadowing at the beginning: “[…]Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble.”

    a) Notice that the wife’s first name is not said right away. Why do you think that is?

    b) How old would you say this married couple is? Do they have children?

    c) Were you disturbed by her reaction to the news of the husband’s death?

    d) When she speaks of being “free,” what does freedom mean?

    Do you want to get married one day?

    Do you feel you will lose your freedom when you get married?

    If marriage is being criticized, why do people still get married and why do gay and lesbian couples want to get married?

    Is marriage for emotional security or financial security?

    e) When Mrs. Mallard dies, why does she die? What do the other characters think is the reason for her death?

    (We know the real reason, but they do not.)

    f) Do you think the narrator, who shows the woman’s thoughts, is criticizing men?

    But notice: she says, “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.” Perhaps she is being fair to or critical of both men and women.


    Jaheim Wilson

    1) I believe her first name was hidden for the sake of preserving her identity. If her first name isn’t said it connects her more to the idea of marriage. It makes her seem more of a widow.

    It could be the author’s way of saying her identity is as a wife, not as an individual.

    2) I believe that this married couple is very young. Based on the lack of kids I would guess they are in their twenties or thirties.

    3) I was slightly disturbed by her reaction to her husband’s death. She showed immense grieve at the news of her husband’s passing. But it was too short. Like it was faked.

    4) Freedom means being able to do whatever you want. But in this scenario, the main character is “free” from the shackles of marriage. She can live her life not bound by one person.

    5) I do want to get married one day. But when I’m older and I truly feel I’m ready to start a family.

    6) Yeah I do feel I’ll lose some of my freedom when getting married. It’s a time when you settle down. Where you devote all your energy to making a life for yourself and your special one. Of course, you’ll lose some freedom for yourself.

    7) Due to the fact people do it out for love for another person. Gay and Lesbian people want to marry too because they feel the same way. Just because it’s different, doesn’t make it any less special.

    8) Marriage can be for both emotional and financial security. People don’t marry just for love alone. They could do it to financially support each other or to fulfill their needs and even achieve their dreams and values.

    9) She dies due to the overwhelming joy she feels at finally being free from her marriage. The possibilities of the future were too much to handle. Everyone else thought she perished out of grief. Quite ironic to say the least.

    Well, the real irony is that her happiness to be free only lasted minutes and she was shocked to see him alive! Easy come, easy go.

    10) I believe the narrator is criticizing both men and women on their belief of the concept of marriage. She is trying to say that you don’t have to get married in order to truly be happy. You should consider marriage when you are physically and mentally ready to do so. It is a major turning point, and we should treat it as such.

    Nice comments, Jaheim.


    Daniela S

    1. I think the wife’s first name was not said right away because they wanted to let the reader know the shorty story is about to speak about the dead husband’s wife’s feelings.
    2. I think they’re very young because of how Mrs. Mallard’s feelings, it spoke like they barely had anytime to spend together.
    3. Not at all disturbed, everyone reacts to situations like these very differently, some don’t react at all.
    4. When she says she’s “free” I think that losing her husband was a relieving moment for her.
    5. No I don’t want to get married because im afraid of it and I believe it is just a title.
    6. If I feel I would loose my freedom, I simply won’t get married.
    7. Some people believe marriage will bring them happiness or fix their problems. Some people are just happy with who they are and are ready to take it to the next level.
    8. I believe it’s depending on the intentions, sometimes both, sometimes nor, but mostly both.
    10. I do believe she is criticizing men just by the way she reacted to her husband’s death when she found out.



    I think it’s because it’s easier to put yourself in a character’s shoes when they don’t have a full identity. Or because it was her story because everyone else was introduced but her we only knew her name because it was called.

    I feel like the couple is young, like in their early 20s. No, I don’t think they have children since I feel they would have mentioned her now having to be a single mom.

    No, because everyone copes differently. Even if she didn’t truly care about his death, it wasn’t her fault he died. So if she chose to grieve very shortly then jump for joy that’s okay.

    It sounds like she is talking about freedom from marriage. Maybe the relationship wasn’t what she hoped for. Maybe she misses being her own person since when you’re married you can’t be as selfish.

    Yes but not too early because like I said before you can’t be selfish in marriage. It would be when I feel like I’ve fully lived my life. And ready to open myself up to someone for the rest of my life.

    No, I don’t feel like I would lose my freedom. Marriage shouldn’t be an option between the two. I think it would just be hard to adjust since now you have to consider this other person’s feelings. When doing many things, it should go both ways.

    Gay and lesbian couples still wanna get married because for most marriage means this is the person who would love you and you would love for the rest of your life. Also, think it has to do with the fact it wasn’t legal for a very long time so it symbolizes even more for them. I think people still get married because it’s very reassuring. Like it’s like a bond contract compared to just being unmarried where people can just walk out or cheat without true consequences.

    Marriage is both! So I know you don’t know about this but I’m gonna speak about it. It goes with the topic but recently a rapper was kicking his baby mother out of his house. So he could cheat comfortably even though she just had their child. In the video of him kicking her out, she was feeding their child. Then went on to tell her that she needs to get a hotel room for her and the baby and that she was just a side chick. Even called the cops on her because she ain’t wanna leave in the middle of the night with her newborn. Now the point of all of this was if they were married he couldn’t just kick her out because she would have been secure because of the marriage. And could have gotten a divorce and some money for him cheating.

    Honestly, I think the relationship could have been abusive because she died from how happy she was to be single. That to me is a sign the relationship was extremely toxic because I don’t see why she would have that reaction if she wasn’t truly unhappy.

    I feel like it’s speaking about women being trapped in relationships for survival. Especially since back then women needed men because they weren’t allowed to be independent so they just had to accept whatever abuse or unhappiness came from the relationship.



    1) I think the reason why the wife’s first name is not said right away is that they want the reader to understand what’s the wife has been through and what her position as a wife really meant.
    2) I assume the married couple is at least in their 20s and I don’t think they have a child.
    3) I was disturbed by her reaction to the news of the husband’s death since it sounded like her reaction wasn’t as pleasant. So means she won’t have any feelings for her husband.
    4) Freedom is probably shown in the reaction of the wife is free from the husband. She probably had some type of disagreement with the marriage or something had happened that change the mind of her relationship with the husband.
    5) I want to get married one day. But I need to save enough money and learn to be more mature than now so I can prepare for my future life.
    6) I feel like I kind of do lose some freedom when I get married because I won’t have time to spend time with my parents or friends as much as now since I have to take care of my own family like the kids and the wife.
    7) Those who still get married like gay and lesbian couples are meant to be because they both felt the same way and also is something that they are capable of doing.
    8) Marriage is meant for both emotional and financial security because they can both express their feelings together and share them and even they can support each other by financial security.
    9) She died of happiness because she wanted to be alone and finally got the chance to since her husband passed away.
    10) The narrator is criticizing the women and men because marriage is can have different thoughts about the relationship as time goes on. But being married is not always end up the happy life it could end up terrible. But in order to stay and maintain a happy life just learn how to communicate with each other to see what are the down and up sides between them.


    Osman Hassan

    Referring to her as just her last name connects to her husband, it restricts her almost as she hinted. Then, after she feels free, she is referred to by her first name which in a way signifies her being released from being Brent’s wife, a missus.

    I would say they’re in their 20s since the story does say they’re young. I doubt they have children since they would most likely be in the vicinity of their mother, and if they were there would be some mention of them.

    It was unexpected, usually in the first few days / weeks of such news, the spouse would be grieving however she went to celebrating almost instantly.

    Being free from the social responsibilities of being married/having a husband.

    I do want to get married one day in the future. I do believe that there is a loss of freedom since you have new obligations which interfere with past freedoms. This loss of freedom isn’t necessarily a bad thing though, it is something you accept when you get married and are okay with.

    People get married for many reasons, but commonly it’s to make a relationship official. Gay and lesbian couples usually want to get married for this same reason.

    Whether a marriage is for emotional security or financial security depends on the parties involved and what their intentions are. It could be for one or the other or both.

    Mrs. Mallard dies from the joy of being free from her husband, however, the other character believes it was because she was devastated by the news alongside her heart problem.

    f) The way I understood it, it seemed like the narrator was criticizing men. It was said in a way where both parties could be the “greater evil” however, at the time of writing it was commonly men who imposed on women in relationships.


    Dmitry Terentyev

    (a) In my opinion, addressing her using her husband’s surname suggests that she is someone’s wife before she is anyone to herself, which makes sense considering the main theme discussed later in the story about freedom from marriage.
    (b) The couple appears young to me (in their mid-20s most likely) as Louise thinks that “life might be long”. Moreover, they do not seem to have any children because they were not mentioned even once upon Mr. Mallard’s death.
    (c) I was more shocked than disturbed after reading her reaction. And after the initial shock subsided, I was intrigued to know more about why was she feeling the way she was. I wanted to know what went so wrong in her marriage that she feels like celebrating her husband’s death.
    (d) I think the reason behind people getting married despite this institution being criticized a lot is the constant yearning of many individuals for a closer, deeper and intimate relationship with someone. Yet, humans are complex beings with complex brains that it becomes difficult to understand the psychology of the person you are married to, which ends up becoming the reason why many couples are bitter towards each other. And keeping in mind this insight of mine, I do not feel excited by the idea of marriage because I know I will have to understand the other person when it is already difficult to understand oneself. When you think that you have to understand your partner in order to make the marriage work, it does feel like a lot of emotional freedom gets taken away after marriage. And for the last question, I think it means different for everyone. Some get married for emotional security, others, for financial and the rest, for both of these.
    (e) She gets a heart attack when she sees her husband is still alive, while others think that she died because she could not contain her joy upon seeing her husband alive.
    (f) I think the narrator is criticizing both men and women for making life hard for each other.

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