RETELLING COMPARISON ESSAY: “A STORY OF AN HOUR” AND “THE PULSE OF LOVE AND EMOTION”

“A Story of An Hour” and “The Pulse of Love and Emotions” are two stories of the same kind. In other words, both share the same story however, each tell that story differently; that being the Point of View (POV). “A Story of An Hour” by Kate Chopin is told in a Third Person Limited perspective and the narration is limited to Mrs. Mallard. My retelling, “The Pulse of Love and Emotions” is told in First Person and is told in the eyes and mind of Mrs. Mallard herself.

In the original story, it was mentioned that Mrs. Mallard “was afflicted with a heart trouble…” Using that fact, I decided to use it as a recurring theme. Since the exact diagnosis of her heart wasn’t mentioned, I decided to diagnose her with a heart condition that is triggered through emotions. Throughout the retelling (mainly in the end of each paragraph), there will be a sentence or two that mentions the state of her heart. To simplify things, in each of these sentences, her emotional state is the trigger and her heart rate is the shot from the trigger.

The first two paragraphs of my retelling was a setting setter and pretty much an introduction of what is to come. These two paragraphs were additional scenes and weren’t seen in the original story. The opening sentence however, is a direct setting that can be found in paragraphs 5 and 6 of the original. I also added Mrs. Mallard’s thoughts about her husband. The last sentence of the first paragraph was a rewording to “And yet she had loved him — sometimes.” I reworded that and used it to go in sync with my recurring theme. Part of the setting setter, there was a “commotion” that I added. This commotion is the result of the news that came to Josephine and Richards. This commotion also is what leads to the start of the original story.

Since the news was something depressing, I made Josephine’s image look depressing as well. Josephine had “the eyes of a sloth”. When it was time to break the news, in both stories, Josephine tells Mrs. Mallard in broken sentences. After finding about the death of her husband, Mrs. Mallard goes up and locks herself in her room. From this point on, the differences between each story become more evident. The Chopin’s original was third person limited so we really didn’t get to see what was going on Mrs. Mallard’s mind. In my retelling, we get to go in Mrs. Mallard’s mind and see what she’s seeing.

Mrs. Mallard in the retelling once again describes the scene that she saw. “The scenery was peaceful, the paragon of the spring season. Trees were blooming with new life while the spring rain was pleasurable redolent of that familiar scent.”  She was motionless like the original and as we move more into the story, we see her realize that her husband’s death can be beneficial to her life. She thought of her husband’s death as an opportunity to do whatever she pleases. She repeated “Free, Free, Free!” At this point, her emotions were all filled with happiness and the recurring theme comes back again to tell us that her heart is accelerating.

Mrs. Mallard acknowledges her new form of loneliness however this loneliness is only something she can look forward to. With Mrs. Mallard now being engulfed with happiness and excitement, she now enters her own world. In the original, we only see her actions however, we don’t see her thoughts. Since the retelling is in first person, we can see what she sees. The world she enters is now visible to the readers. This part defines the differences between the original and the retelling because we are seeing something that we couldn’t see in the original. The world she entered was her utopia; A world that she can be free in with no limits. The chains that held her back were released and the ideal spring weather she loved is present. I made this paragraph sound more like the opening scene of the Disney classic, Cinderella. Sparrows were chirping as the fields were filled were springing with spring life. This world is what defined what was to come in her future. “This is what freedom looks like….My World, the real world, and now the beat of my heart now resonated as they begin to fuse.”

The worlds of dreams and reality now were fused. Mrs. Mallard was ready to take in this new world. As a result, she proceeded to finally go out to Josephine who was waiting outside her door. We saw in the original that she had “a feverish triumph in her eyes”. I reworded that a little bit to make her sound more victorious. “I looked at her with the eyes of a soldier who came back from a victorious battle.” Once again, I brought the recurring theme, saying that her heart “raced faster than a Kentucky Saddler.” A Kentucky Saddler is a really fast horse that was often used in races.

The final part came with many additions to make the ending sound more dramatic. I added more sound and imagery to it. One example would be the light that came in when the door was opening. The light was a blinding light that we didn’t see in the original. Once again, this scene was purely just to add more drama. The light came with a shadow; that being Brentley Mallard, her husband. We knew that Mrs. Mallard was full of shock so to add to that shock, more interior thoughts were added. “Don’t tell me what I think it is.” “No no no no!” Little thoughts liked that I felt add more drama. In the original, we didn’t know how she was feeling at the time so the extras also added more thought for the readers. Mrs. Mallard felt weak and her heart was racing faster. As a result, she collapsed and like the original, we hear the “piercing” scream of Josephine and we also see Brently Mallard (this time in her eyes). There, her life ended. Since it’s first person, she wouldn’t see the doctor’s evaluation (she’s dead) so I decided to make her final words, their diagnosis. “It was the joy that kills.”

In conclusion, my retelling closely followed the original story except that I added more details to add to the drama. Since I was turning something Third Person to First Person, my goal was to go into the mind of Mrs. Mallard and bring out more of her emotions. I also wanted to add more details along with making the things not known, known. In other words, I wanted to make the story more easier to understand. By adding more details, I felt that the story was more easier to understand. In the end, we saw what was in Mrs. Mallard’s mind the whole time and we saw what she felt in her final minutes.

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