Project #1

Justin Liang

Professor. Jodi Rosen

ENG 2001-D536

Project 1

Part 1

My name is Mrs. Mallard and recently I’ve been having trouble with my heart.

It was a bright and sunny day. But the day changed when I had heard the news about the death of my husband. I was told by my sister Josephine. She was crying and trying to tell me at the same time. Her husbands friend Richard was there too. He was in the newspaper office when intelligence of the railroad disaster was received, with my husband’s name on the list of people “killed”. Richard wanted to make sure that the death was assure and heard the second telegram and came as quick as he could to get to me.

Tears came down my face and I couldn’t take it anymore. I cried in my sister’s arms. But the grief was to much for me and I ran into my room by myself. I didn’t want to have anyone follow me into the room.

I sat on my armchair in front of the open window in my room. I slowly sank into my chair and felt the exhaustion from all the crying.

As I looked out of the window I could see the new spring life. In the streets below a peddler was crying his wares. The notes of a distant song which some one was sinning reached me faintly, and countless sparrows were twittering in the eaves.

There were patches of blue sky showing here and there through the clouds that had met and piled one above the other in the west facing my window.

I sat with my head thrown back up the cushion of my chair, motionless, and then I began to sob and started to cry again.

I was young with a calm face which gave off a certain strength. But now it was gone and all that was left was a dull stare looking up at the patches of the blue sky. I wasn’t looking up at a reflection, but I was in a suspension of intelligent thought.

Somewhere deep inside me I knew something was coming and I waited for it, fearfully. What was it? I didn’t know; it was too subtle and elusive to name. But I felt it, creeping out of the sky, reaching towards me through the sounds, the scents, and the color that filled the air.

My bosom rose and fell tumultuously. I was beginning to recognize the thing that was coming to possess me, and I was striving to beat to back with my will—as powerless as my two white slender hands would have been. As I abandoned myself a little whispered word escaped my slightly parted lips. I said it over and over under my breath: “free, free, free!” The vacant stare and the look of terror had followed in my eyes. It stayed keen and bright. My pulse began to beat fast, and the coursing blood warmed and relaxed every inch of my body.

I did not stop to ask if it were or were not a monstrous joy that held her. A clear and exalted perception enabled me to dismiss the suggestion as trivial. I knew that I would weep again when I saw the kind, tender hands folded in death; the face that had never looked save with love upper me, fixed and gray and dead. But I saw beyond that bitter moment a long procession of years to come that would belong to me absolutely. And I opened and spread my arms out to them in welcome.

There would be no one to live for during these coming years; I would live for myself. There would be no powerful will bending me in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature. A kind intention or a cruel intention made the act seem no less a crime as I looked upon it in that brief moment of illumination.

And yet I had loved him—sometimes. Often I had not. What did it matter! What could love, the unsolved mystery, count for in the face of this possession of self-assertion which I suddenly recognized as the strongest impulse of my being.

“Free! Body and soul free!” I whispered.

I hear Josephine outside the door telling me to open the door. She was begging that I open the door and that I was making myself ill. She wanted to know what I was doing. Over and over she asked me to open the door.

“Go away. I am not making myself ill.” No; I was drinking in the very elixir of life through that open window.

My fancy was running riot along those days ahead of me. Spring days, and summer days, and all sorts of days that would be my own. I breathed a quick prayer that life might be long. It was only yesterday I had thought with a shudder that life might be long.

I arose at length and opened the door to my sister’s importunities. There was a feverish triumph in her eyes, and she carried herself unwittingly like a goddess of Victory. I clasped my sister’s waist, and together we descended the stairs. Richards stood waiting for us at the bottom.

Someone was opening the front door with a latchkey. It was my husband who entered, a little travel-stained, composedly carrying his grip-sack and umbrella. He told me that he had been far from the scene of the accident, and did not even know there had been one. He stood amazed at Josephine’s piercing cry; at Richards quick motion to screen him from the view of me.

Then everything went black. My heart aching and then silence.

Part 2

The Story of An Hour is a interesting story because it is written in a third person (omniscient) point of view. The story doesn’t just focus on one person it switches from person to person. So, I wanted to change that a bit and focus on the main character of the story, Mrs. Mallard. I decided to do a first person point of view to show the emotion and thought process that Mrs. Mallard is going through instead of showing other point of views.

The Story of An Hour was originally written in a third person (omniscient) point of view. Using the third person point of view the story shows what is going on with everyone. It shows a different side to what a person is saying. The language of the story is also different. In the story there is a line that says “She was young, with a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression and even a certain strength.” This sentence gives a sense to the reader that this is what people thought of Mrs. Mallard. Also we can see what other characters are doing when the main character is somewhere else. In the story there is a line that says “Louise, open the door! I beg; open the door– you will make yourself ill. What are you doing, Louise? For heaven’s sake open the door.” This line was said by Mrs. Mallard’s sister Josephine who was worried about her sister. The third person narration shows details about what is going on with everyone and doesn’t focus on one person. Which is why I decided to rewrite the story in a first person narration to show readers what is going on with Mrs. Mallard only.

In my version of The Story of An Hour I decided to go with a first person point of view on Mrs. Mallard. My reasoning for this was because I believed that we didn’t get to see what was really going on in Mrs. Mallard’s mind. The introduction of my version of the story was different. I decided to make the intro as if we were in Mrs. Mallard’s mind. I decided to introduce Mrs. Mallard to the readers with a “My name is…” Using this type of introduction I feel like it allows readers to know that we are in someone’s mind. It helps give them the sense that this story will be in a first person narration. Going further into the story things were mostly similar to the original. That is until we reach the part where Josephine was trying to get her sister out of the room. When I got the part where Josephine was trying to get her sister out of the room I wondered, what was going on with Mrs. Mallard at that time? I decided to keep everything the same except I decided to put in that Mrs. Mallard was getting annoyed with her sister. In my version I wrote “Josephine keeps knocking and with each knock I start to get annoyed.” I did this because earlier in the story Mrs. Mallard didn’t want anyone to bother her and Josephine was persistent with trying to get Mrs. Mallard out of the room. I figured this change would surprise the reader with something they didn’t know. Lastly the ending of the story was slightly different. In the original we see that Mrs. Mallard’s husband wasn’t actually dead and she then dies of her heart disease. I decided to show that Mrs. Mallard’s freedom was taken away from her now that she knew that her husband wasn’t dead. My reasoning for this was because Mrs. Mallard felt free from her husband know he died. She says “ Free! Body and soul free!” in the original. So, as soon as she see that her husband isn’t dead I wanted to show that Mrs. Mallard says in her head that she is no longer free now that her husband is back and then dies of her heart disease. Also in the original it says “When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease–of the joy that kills.” Seeing this I knew that my version would make sense. Mrs. Mallard was happy that she was free but all that was taken away from her and she dies. This version of the story shows readers the more in depth details of what really went on in Mrs. Mallard’s mind.

Both versions of the stories show something. The original shows the thought process of the other characters in the story. The language also helps the reader get a sense of how the characters feel. My version show readers what Mrs. Mallard thinks and what she is going through. I feel like the language I used helped readers know more about Mrs. Mallard. In the end both stories tell what happens to Mrs. Mallard in their own way.

 

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