The story of an hour(revisited).
When I received the first telegram my first reaction was to not believe what was written on the very stale piece of paper with its seemingly stale words and type. However when the second telegram arrived I figured that the fact that I had received two telegrams must not be a mistake.
I rushed to get ready,undergarments-pants-shirt-shoes.I rushed and made my way to see Mrs mallard.When I got to the house I knocked and her sister josephine answered the door. I must’ve had a strange look on my face because she asked me “what’s wrong Mr.Richards?” and then I told her the details,soon afterwards her brow had furrowed and she said “How are we going to tell Mrs.Mallard this unfortunate news, you know of her condition don’t you?”
Mrs.Mallard had a weak heart quite literally.which means she cannot handle situations that are too rough.However as her husbands friend I feel as if it is my duty to let her know about her husband’s death.
It was her sister josephine who told her,in broken sentences what had happened and that I had received telegrams confirming the story.
When Josephine told her sister the story at once she wept seemingly with no shame she looked like a babe swathed in her very own tears. She wept there in the arms of her sister for a good while.When she finally finished crying she looked more like a wet prune rather than a peacefully sleeping babe.I chided myself at these inner thoughts of mine so I sat in a nearby corner at the other side of the room as I started to slightly feel tired.The telegram had actually woken me up out of my sleep. Its not that it was particularly loud or anything.Maybe my body just felt as if I had to wake up,and so I did. I stole a quick look at the door as far away from the door as I was I actually half wished that brently would walk through the door, but that wasn’t likely . As had I made my way to the corner Mrs.Mallard decided she needed to go to her room and made it very clear that she wanted to be alone.As she said this I perked up and she turned to leave, Josephine and I gave each other a wary look I could tell she and I were having similar concerns for Mrs.Mallard.
Josephine and I engaged in a conversation about herself and her sister’s child hood.It went as any story about siblings go the fights,the good times,the accidents and the triumphs.If I am to tell the truth I was rather bored by this conversation.I was half asleep, busy thinking about my dear dead friend and how he had married someone with such a weak heart,I know that had to have put a slight strain on…….certain aspects of their marriage.Between my inner thoughts and this uninteresting conversation a lot of time had passed.We locked eyes again and I could tell we had just had the same thought,Mrs.Mallard had been alone for a considerable amount of time.
It was thirty five minutes into the conversation that we realized that Mrs.Mallard was all alone in a room by herself.Normally this would be no issue this is her home after all,but I had a strange feeling building up in the pit of my stomach.With her weak heart and the terrible news of her husband’s death who knows what these in combination with her self imposed loneliness would do to her mind,just as I was having these thoughts Ms.Josephine said “How do you think she took the news of her husband’s death ? She’s been in that room an awfully long time” and I replied “Yes Ms.Josephine I think one of us ought to go and check up on her”. Thankfully she took it upon herself to go and take up this task I could have easily done this but the only thing on my mind was my dear dear dead friend brently mallard and so I waited until she came back from the floor her sister was on.
When she finally had come back she had a look on her face that was half worried and half puzzled.She was arm in arm with her sister as they descended the stairs a sense of relief had started to wash over me.I rose from my chair to go and meet the two and maybe suggest that we all go and find some place that would take Mrs.Mallard’s mind off of this whole ordeal, just as I was about to open my mouth to say something the door had swung open.
I look at the door and realize it was none other than my dear friend brently mallard!,instantly I felt relieved my dear friend was alive!,Also at the same time I remembered that his wife had almost come down the stairs.I cannot let someone with such a weak constitution come into contact with such jarring stimuli.I attempted to stop her from viewing her supposedly dead husband,I was almost halfway across the room when I heard a loud thud on behind me.
When the investigators came they asked a couple questions.During the questioning I realised that the only reason Brently’s name was on the list was because of policy and not factuality.They had to put his name on the list to cover all possible bases,they had not identified any bodies,it had only been an hour between the accident and his arrival maybe even less.Maybe I shouldn’t have said anything,since I had not gotten proper confirmation.When the doctors came and examined her corpse they said that she was killed by “The joy that kills”.Essentially what this means is we all surmised that the joy from seeing her husband was too much of a strain on her already weak heart and it caused her heart to fail.
The story of An hour : A comparison
Kate Chopin’s “The story of An Hour” and my version of “The story of An Hour” tell the same story but with different narrative styles.The shift from third person limited to first person character narrator offers readers a different perspective that can foster a better understanding of the story.All of the details that are now highlighted in my version allow the readers to see the story in a darker light.These shadow were hidden because of what I perceived to be Mrs.Mallard acting.
The first thing i’d like to address is my claim that Mrs.Mallard was acting. My first point is that this story happens in the span of an hour.This is important because immediately Mrs.Mallard starts crying after her sister gets done explaining to her that her husband died she starts crying.One can tell that they took a considerable amount of time explaining to her that her husband died because in the second paragraph the story says “It was her sister Josephine who told her, in broken sentences; veiled hints that revealed in half concealing.’’ This tells us that they took a while to tell her because she was told in broken sentences.What peaks my interest is in the paragraph that follows that tells us that “ She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance. She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister’s arms. When the storm of grief had spent itself she went away to her room alone. She would have no one follow her.” This says that after she heard the story she immediately started crying,not during,not before, after.Which signifies to me that she was thinking about something. Which is why she left and wanted to be alone and also why when she was alone she started talking about being free.She could’ve easily done this in the company of her loved ones.But she evidently calculated that this was something she wanted to have for herself and that she was tired of sharing her life.Even in the story she says “And yet she had loved him–sometimes. Often she had not. What did it matter! What could love, the unsolved mystery, count for in the face of this possession of self-assertion which she suddenly recognized as the strongest impulse of her being!”. Again this signifies that everything was just an act this was her very first and last act of defiance.The crying was just a reason to justify being alone.This also means that she was not in her room for the rest of the hour or close to the rest of the hour if she had been she would’ve missed her husband coming in.Which means she didn’t have very long to put all of this together.All of this is relevant and relates to my thesis because it proves that Mrs.Mallard who was the main focus of the original story did indeed do some acting and this is important because she’s captures the attention of the reader which distracts them for the little details such as who unintentionally killed her.However I have to make it clear that I am not trying to demonize Mrs.Mallard,she is just a representation of what the expectations were of married people at that age and time.Plus she is showing the expectations of people in an sort of society and time,this expectation that people would not or should not do things deemed unsavory in public or infront of company.Even today we cannot talk about certain things without triggering someone and being promoted to apologize.Mrs.Mallard was just doing what she thought was best consciously and subconsciously.
The first detail that was not the focus of attention in the Kate Chopin’s “The story of An Hour” was the fact that Richards killed Mrs.Mallard. Richards did not physically kill Mrs.Mallard but he was the reason why she found out.”He had only taken the time to assure himself of its truth by a second telegram, and had hastened to forestall any less careful, less tender friend in bearing the sad message.”- The story of an hour paragraph 2. This quote is showing that Richards got the information about brently and immediately ran to tell Mrs.Mallard. Since the information turned out to be faulty it is fair to say that Richards played an indirect direct part in killing Mrs.Mallard.In the story it is told to us that the main character has a weak heart and that all the characters know this “Knowing that Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble, great care was taken to break to her as gently as possible the news of her husband’s death.It was her sister Josephine who told her, in broken sentences; veiled hints that revealed in half concealing” – The Story Of An Hour first and second paragraphs. This confirms that they knew about her heart and still told her about her husbands death.It can also be said that her sister is also the cause of her death but since Richards was the one who had gotten the information and rushed to tell the bad news but did not wait to get absolute confirmation, that he carries the most blame.
In my version of the story I address this in the last paragraph.”When the investigators came they asked a couple questions.During the questioning I realised that the only reason Brently’s name was on the list was because of policy and not factuality.They had to put his name on the list to cover all possible bases,they had not identified any bodies,it had only been an hour between the accident and his arrival maybe even less.Maybe I shouldn’t have said anything,since I had not gotten proper confirmation.”- The story of an hour revisited.
This quote from my version shows a logical thought process that we did not get in the original story.This quote also highlights the fact that there was never any mention of a body nor did anyone say that Brently’s body was found at the sight.In short this means that they were just giving out a list of possible passengers because they had to.
Another detail that is not made clear in the story of an hour is exactly how much time the main character spends alone and how that affected her sister. The story of an hour happens within the span of an hour.The story happens when there was still light outside however there was no clear distinction of what time it was,but her husband coming home with a bag of sorts shows he may have come from or was supposed to go to work.So this accident happened sometime between rush hour and 10 am so it’s still pretty illuminated outside.This is relevant because Richards had gotten the telegram after the accident so around 8;10-15 which leaves around 45 minutes left and even less when he got to the house.Also he had to tell Josephine which took around 5 mins and then during the second paragraph “It was her sister Josephine who told her, in broken sentences; veiled hints that revealed in half concealing. Her husband’s friend Richards was there, too, near her. It was he who had been in the newspaper office when intelligence of the railroad disaster was received, with Brently Mallard’s name leading the list of “killed.” The keywords here are “broken sentences” which signifies even more time going by because they are using these broken sentences so as not to shock her and let her down easy stis took around 12 minutes or so which leads me finally to 27 minutes I believe that this is the amount of time in the original story of an hour she spent alone in her room.This makes sense because this is not a terribly long amount of time but it is certainly enough to make a sister worry about her after she and her week heart had just been given some bad news.The last minute makes sense as well because she makes her sister wait a bit then they go arm in arm down the stairs and brantley comes in which ends the hour and her life.
In conclusion both Kate Chopin’s “The story of An Hour” and my very own version of “The story of An Hour” do things similarly and differently while telling the same story,what I do differently is use my story to highlight the small details that were missed and on top of that I show why they were missed.The purpose of such a thing was to observe whether or not doing so will allow readers to get a better understanding or different perspective on the story.After writing the essay I have concluded that my change in narrator gave readers new ways to look at the story,brought light to the darker parts of the story and highlighted a new perspective in which we find out that Richard’s actions cost the main character Mrs.Mallard her life.In other words due to my version readers can see the story in a new light.