What is the significance of  the narrator describing the new feelings that Mrs. Mallard feels the way that she does?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I tend to think that the power of Chopin's narrative style is in full bloom when Louise goes to her room and closes the door.  Prior to that, the narration had been standard and formal, almost to represent the standard and traditional reaction that Louise was to have to her husband's death.  It was the formal reaction that wives are supposed to have upon hearing that their husband have died.  Yet, I think that when Louise is in the room, when she is looking out the window, the narration style swells to represent how Louise's life options increase.  Almost akin to Louise's heart swelling with promise and possibility, the narration crescendos, describing what now potentially awaits Louise now that her husband is gone and that her life can actually begin.  The use of terms like a "new spring" represents this notion of rebirth.  In this, the narration starts anew, expressing what lies with that in terms of hope and dreams.  In this, the narrators description of the new feelings come to represent how Louise can envision her life with the death of her husband.  It makes sense that there is an abrupt ending to the narration as Louise comes to realize her husband is alive, for this becomes an abrupt ending to her own hopes and dreams.  The narration at this point reflects Louise's internal understanding of how "the joy that kills" turns out to be her statement, and to an extent the narrator's statement, on what traditional marriage means for a woman.  I think that this is a point where the themes of the story is reflected through the narration, indicating how style and theme go hand in hand in Chopin's story.

 

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