Human nature is depicted as being sensitive in terms of relaying or receiving shocking news. This is seen in the event where Mrs. Mallard dies out of shock after seeing her husband was still alive. She had been told of his death by her sister and a family friend. She suffers from a heart condition but after being told of the death gently, she is able to take her time to accept the loss and even feels a sense of freedom. However, all her effort goes to waste because she finds out that all her effort to get over her husband’s death was in vain. The way all the people around her treated her with caution means that human beings are overly sensitive and death is powerful in whichever way it is viewed. In this story, Mrs. Mallard is given the news of the death with a lot of care but nobody can prepare her for the reappearance of her alleged dead husband (Chopin). This literary work gives the idea that communication and legitimate information is very important to human beings as it could even boil down to being a matter of life and death as was the case with Mrs. Mallard and her husband.
The characters in this story illustrate this idea of how important to relay news and information to different people. Mrs. Mallard in this instance had accepted her husband’s death and even made the decision to move on and be free. However, she is taken aback by the fact that the information she had acted on had not been confirmed and hence was wrong. The characters show how important it is to relay information that has been confirmed. The information Mrs. Mallard got from her sister and a family friend led to her death.
The characters in this story speak about Mr. Mallard’s death as they hear from somebody else. They all concluded that Mr. Mallard was on the train that had been involved in an accident yet, he was nowhere near the train. He may have been scheduled to travel in the train but somehow missed it and survived. All the characters in the story believed that he had been killed and they all gathered their courage to relay the information to Mrs. Mallard without knowing that the news would make her internally happy. They had granted her newfound freedom without their knowledge (Sustana). However, the information that was even in the newspapers was wrong. Mr. Mallard was unaware of the train accident so when he came home, he would be shocked to find people mourning his death and yet he was alive.
The events in this story that support the idea of the importance of correct information during communication are many. One of them is the newspaper, where Richards reads the news of the death of Mr. Mallards from a train accident. This goes to show how important it is for the bodies tasked with relaying information to the members of the public, to verify information. Mrs. Mallard’s sister, Louise, was also a victim of misinformation. Both Richards and she did not take the time to verify the information on the death of Mr. Mallard even when they knew of her heart condition (Sustana). Without conclusive information, they would have taken their time to verify the death by going to see the remains of the deceased – Mr. Mallard. The simple fact that they did not do their due diligence ultimately led to the death of Mrs. Mallards.
The death of Mrs. Mallards is termed as having been caused by a shock out of joy. In reality, she had died out of shock caused by the sudden loss of her newly found freedom and relief. She had lived her life, as a proper woman should according to the society. She cried as she should have in the eyes of the society but her tears were barely out of grief. She was crying because she would definitely miss her husband but at the same time cried to relieve the oppression she had put up with all that time. The image of Mrs. Mallard living a free life is clear from the thoughts she holds in private. She knows she should mourn but she knows that she is also embracing her new life. The narrator’s role in the story ensures that Mrs. Mallard’s troubles are exposed fully. Her heartbreak is told from beginning to end as opposed to if Mrs. Mallard was narrating in the first person. The story is told to the end and the focus is on the effect of wrong information to people as depicted by Mrs. Mallard.
To conclude, the information that is available to the members of the public is sensitive. People react differently to the news, whether good or bad news. This means that in the event that people get bad news and accept it, a slight change to this information could be fatal as in the case of Mrs. Mallard. After her sudden death, it is hard to tell how Mr. Mallard will react. He may fall into a depression and if he does, there is no guarantee that he will not end up dying as a result as well. Correct and verified information is crucial for a healthy society.
Chopin, Kate. “The Story of an Hour.” VCU, 1894, https://archive.vcu.edu/english/engweb/webtexts/hour/. Accessed 18 September 2018.
Sustana, Catherine. “Analysis of “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin.” ThoughtCo.com, 12 March 2018, https://www.thoughtco.com/analysis-story-of-an-hour-2990475. Accessed18 September 2018.
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