Richard’s worst day by Keith Smith: Project 1
Personally I feel that “The Story of an Hour” is best told by Louise Mallard. To go through her emotions and feelings, really shows me the life of women in the late 19th century. At first you really think that being married is wonderful You have a home and children. You have a man who supports you. You are able to do things together, and you are never alone. So I have to assume that marriages were looked upon as the completion of becoming an adult. I would also assume that if you were not married, you might go through personal and public scrutiny. Lastly I would assume that the parents of the woman would chase away would be suitors, (which might be the woman’s true love) so she could marry into a better husband.
I decided to change this story to Richard’s view to show the uncomfortable position of a man in an emotional setting. I would know that as he was giving the news to other women he experienced a nauseous feeling from their reactions. But to tell the wife of his friend had to be very hard because it was more personable. He knew them well and could not tell her. Plus the fact that this is where he finally had to accept his own personal loss. The loss of his friend, Brently. This also enabled me to really tell this story in a unique way. What was Josephine going through, and what was he going through. I also need to show how Louise’s epiphany of having a new life, really made her happy. Josephine did not seem to realize this herself, the way the story was written. So I wanted to show a neutral view on what took place. I made him unmarried to portray a working man who has only his work to come home. I was trying to emphasize his uncomfortability with Louise.
I decided not to bring up the heart symptoms until it needed to be brought up. Because I know that when I read that in the first line of the story, I knew it was going to be the deciding factor of the ending. So I was not surprised when she died. I felt that if I am writing about Richard’s worst day, it was not about Louise. From the news of his colleagues dying in a horrible accident. The death of his friend. To witnessing Louise’s breakdown and death. And Brently going through a frightened panic of his wife’s death. I feel this would be a horrible day for anyone. By telling this story through Richards, I was able to show that even through all these emotions it would not be the cause of death for Louise. I was trying to show that Louise’s death came from losing the joy, of her of being finally happy. I felt that the confusion that Richards had, of seeing happiness on Louise’s face, was not something he expected. Changing the characters around really showed a different kind of story. The original was very eye-opening on Louise’s views of being married and the news of becoming independent. Where, as my story, is about a man and his uncomfortability with bad news, and events.
I also wanted to show more of Josephine. How she had to talk to her sister. How she wasn’t sure of what to do about her sister’s emotional health. Maybe I could have revealed what she knew about her sister’s unhappiness with her marriage, but I felt that the original story just did not leave me enough content to say it was true. Also when Louise finally came out, she held Josephine around the waist and walked with her. There was no mention of Josephine seeing the emotional change that Louise had. That was another reason I picked Richards. He would see the difference. I assumed there were vehicles in the story so I changed it to a horse drawn cart. How else would the doctor get there. Josephine had to get him. This also enabled me to keep Richards at the scene to really show his horrible day becoming worse. I also needed to change the ending that I had, to portray his point.
All in all I see now why authors choose how they write their stories. By telling them through a specific narrator, they can really provide a better picture of what they are trying to portray. They are able to provide the scene, thoughts and emotions. Using a reliable and unreliable narrator can give their stories a different feel. Allowing the narrator to use only the main characters thoughts only gives you an insight of how things unfold. In a story of an hour, it all made sense. Using a first person like I did, can only give you a certain feel of what is happening and changing the whole story around.
Richards Worst Day by Keith Smith
It was the worst day of my life. As I looked on, I could only feel the sadness of losing my friend Brently. But somebody had to tell her, and I was so glad that Josephine was there. Josephine was her sister, and I think Louise already knew that there was something wrong. Why else would Josephine and I appear at her home? But in a very careful way Thank God, she spoke slowly looking at her with teary eyes, as the words started to take meaning. “Louise, I have some bad news, but I feel I should be the one to tell you. Brently was on a train and well the train had a problem. Louise I’m very sorry to say that he did not make it.” At this point I looked down, I felt so helpless, and then I heard Louise cry uncontrollably and Josephine just grabbed her and held her close. The crying just continued and it tore me up inside because now the truth was so painful. My friend was gone and a lot of my associates that I had worked together with for a long time. Well I would never see them also.
Louise’s crying turned into sobbing as she let go of her sister. She then turned around and walked slowly to her room. Josephine decided not to walk with her, probably because she knew her sister just needed to be alone. I heard the locking of the door, which meant she was probably right. At that point I looked at Josephine, and said “ I‘m really thankful that you came with me. I don’t think I could have done this. Do you think she will be OK.” “ No” she said, “I mean nobody who loses their husband would be.” I then realized the stupidity behind that question. It was just I had never been married. But she was right. At that point, I asked her if she was going to stay with her. She said “maybe I can take her to my home for the night. I certainly don’t want her to stay here it might just make her even sadder.”
“Well, I think you are right. Maybe you could take her on a little getaway. It probably would be good for her.” She just looked at me, and I could see the wheels turning as what she should do next. “Yeah maybe a trip to the city or something”, she said. “But now we are going to have to make arrangements for his funeral, and then yeah a trip to the city.” She started to sob, and then said “I should go check on her.” “Yea that would be a good idea I guess”, I said. “I’ll wait here let me know if you want me”. I was hoping she wouldn’t. She said “Thank you I’ll be back.” She then walked toward her sister’s room.
She knocked softly and said “Louise, can I come in?” There was no answer. She knocked again, but louder. “Louise are you OK please let me in.” Again there was no answer. I got really scared at that point, because Josephine had told me that Louise had a heart condition. I saw that Josephine started to panic, and I said “can you hear her?” “Yes she is moving around.” She then got on her knees and put her mouth to the keyhole and said excitedly, “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.” And then I heard Louise.” Go away. I am not making myself ill.”
Well I am glad that she was alright, and my fear lifted. The emotions that swirled around me made me light-headed. And then I heard Louise unlock the door, and as she opened it, she came through and put her arm around her sister’s waist as if she was consoling her. There was something different about her. She walked erect and had this look like nothing happened. She almost seemed happy, but that couldn’t be. And yet the closer she came to me, she really seemed happy. I could not understand why though. Did Josephine notice it, I wondered.
All of the sudden I heard a noise behind me. It was the sound a latchkey and it was opening the front door. No it couldn’t be! They had confirmed his death in a second telegram. The door opened and to my surprise it was my friend Brently, and he was alive! And then I remembered his wife Louise and the uncontrollable sadness that she went through. Then I heard Josephine’s high pitched cry and I started toward Brently to take him outside, so I could explain to him what was happening. There was a thump and I turned around to see Louise had fainted and was lying on the floor. Brently rushed past me to aid his wife and yelled, “get a doctor here right now,” and before I knew it Josephine was out the door and in her cart. The horse drawn cart turned and headed down the road. I turned around and asked;” is she OK”, and Brently looked at me, his face lost all color, and he started to cry. What was going on? Why was he crying? He kept repeating himself through his tears “Louise wakeup please Louise wakeup” as if he was trying to will her back to life. “Brently is she OK”, I asked again. But he didn’t hear me; he just kept talking to Louise: “Wakeup Louise Please wakeup.” My mind started racing with bad thoughts and I got down to help Brently.” C’mon let’s get her to a couch”, but he just pushed me away and kept rocking with her head in his lap.
When the doctor finished examining Louise, he motioned for Brently and Josephine to come with him. They were both crying still but I heard him tell them, “she seems to have suffered a heart problem and I cannot do anything else.” He then said “if what you told me Josephine, was true she probably was overcome with joy that Brently was alive. She did go through an emotional ordeal, and maybe it was too much. I will make arrangements to have her taken to the morgue”. It was a very bad ending to my day, even though Brently was alive, he lost his wife, who was also my friend. When I left, I realized that this was the worst day of my life. I left and got drunk.