Response to “The Story of an Hour” / “Jury of Her Peers”

Kate Chopin’s, “The Story of an Hour” (1894) is about the reaction of a wife who is informed of a train accident that her husband supposedly died from. Mrs. Mallard, the protagonist of the story is informed of the news and like any typical wife would do, she burst into tears. The question is, is she crying in sorrow or crying in joy. It was revealed on the second page that she “loved him sometimes. Often she had not” which implies that she really didn’t love him at all. Mrs. Mallard appears to be in a different world at this point, staring blankly into the blue sky thinking about how things would be without him. Blood was warming her up as she recited “free, free, free!” In other words, she was really relieved the incident happened and knowing that her husband is gone, she is able to break free from the constraints her husband placed on her. However in the end, that vision of freedom was short lived. Upon the arrival of Mr.Mallard who was clueless of the accident, Mrs. Mallard’s joy fired back at her causing her to die from a heart attack which was “the joy that kills”.

Susan Glaspell’s, “A Jury of Her Peers” (1882), in a short summary is about an incident relating to the death of Mr. Wright and how Mrs. Wright can possibly be connected to it. Pretty much, Mrs. Wright wasn’t all that fond of her marriage. There was lots of evidence of a problem in their relationship. The investigators of the case, the Hales and the Peters were the ones who noticed signs of abuse and distress against Mrs. Wright. Based on the evidence found, it was concluded that  Mrs. Wright did in fact killed her husband.

Both stories were made in the same timeline and can be related to how things are handled in this timeline. To be honest, in both stories, I think anyone can understand why each wife would think of their husbands that way. If the relationship goes to the point where one spouse resents the other, I think anyone would feel that way. This is why both stories can be related to how things are handled now. Setting in both stories play an important role because it pretty much brings us, the reader into the story. From “The Story of an Hour”, we are brought into the scenery and we can imagine how things look like. From “A Jury of Her Peers”, we are brought into the crime scene and we can picture how things appeared. In the end, I guess these examples are the other end results of an unhealthy relationship.

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