In, "The Story of an Hour" What does the reader know at the end of the story that the characters do not? Support your answer with details from the story. How did Mallard die? Is this an...
In, "The Story of an Hour" What does the reader know at the end of the story that the characters do not?
Support your answer with details from the story.
How did Mallard die? Is this an external or internal conflict? Explain
At the end of this story, Louise Mallard drops dead when she sees her husband enter the house. The doctor and other characters presume that she has been overcome with "joy that kills" since she had been told that Brently, her husband, was killed in a train accident. This is a perfect example of DRAMATIC IRONY, which occurs when the audience knows what characters do not.
We, the readers, know that Louise was, after her initial shock, relieved that her husband was dead, not because she hated him, but because she felt suffocated by her marriage and her lack of personal identity. We know this from a number of clues in the story--the open window she looks out with the clouds parting could symolize her new open life. But the most clear evidence of her happiness over her husband's death is her realization that she is "free--body and soul free."
So when she sees her husband at the door, she isn't so overjoyed that her heart fails, she is so dissapointed that her heart fails. Her conflict is really internal. She has stuggled all her life with not having an identity. Women during the Victorian era were seldom given the opportunity to make thier own decisions. First they were considered the property of their fathers, and then of their husbands. Not marrying was somewhat of a disgrace. Louise had just gained her identity. Note that she didn't become LOUISE until her husband's death, but was only MRS. MALLARD. When Brently returns, she is crushed.