What do we learn about Louise's husband? How has he justified her responses? How are your judgments about him controlled by the context of the story?

2 Answers

gbeatty's profile pic

gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

We learn little about Louise's husband Brently. We learn that she experienced him bending her to his will, and that she admits he had a kind intent when he reshaped her in this way. Because this story focus on Louise and what she's experienced of and from life, that shapes our understanding of and exposure to Brently.

Personally, I think that's intentional. I think Chopin was showing him as all men of the period, rather than anything especially abusive as an individual.

snazario's profile pic

snazario | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Louise barely offers any information on her husband. We as readers can come up with some conclusion due to the way that she reacts in learning that her husband has died. We could probably say that he did not allow her to have a say in anything or do anything. This is a conclusion that we could come up with when she expresses that she is "Free! Body and soul free!"and when she mentions that "...she would live for herself." This is a reaction that she offers because of a negative way that her husband have had to treat her. When a person lives a wonderful life with their partner this is not a normal reaction that a person would have in losing their partner.

By Mrs. Mallard responding this way I personally dislike her husband. The reason for me to dislike him is because of the way she reacts; to me it is not normal for a wife to react like that. I pictured her husband a person that worked a lot and pay very little attention to her. This is something that bothered me and continues to increase my dislike towards him. Her feelings are so strong, and her sense of freedom is incredible that it allows me, as a reader, assume that her marriage is not the best, meaning that her husband was not making her happy. I would blame her husband for her unhappiness because she states that she is free.