Posted: April 18th, 2021
Causes of Mrs. Mallards Death After reading Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour”, readers are left in wonder as to what ultimately resulted in the death of Mrs. Louise Mallard. While the very end suggests heart disease as the culprit, further analyzation of the story points towards a few other, deeper and slightly more complex causes. The first thing we learn about Mrs. Mallard is that she has heart trouble. This heart trouble turns is both mental and physical and is both within her body and the relationship with her husband, Brently Mallard. Her heart trouble is what makes the announcement of Brently’s death so threatening to her.
Someone that has a weak heart would not be able to deal very well with such news. Therefore, the fact that Mrs. Mallard has heart problems proves to be a significant cause of her death. Another contributing factor in Mrs. Mallard’s death may have been the reporting of her husband’s death. Mrs. Mallard’s sister, Josephine, announces that Brently was killed in a train accident. Mrs. Mallard’s reaction is not the same as a normal woman’s would be “with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance”. Instead, she weeps immediately, afterwards retiring to her own room. The news of Brently’s death reveals to Mrs.
Mallard her freedom from the oppression she probably experienced while married to Brently. The good intentions of Josephine might be another cause of Mrs. Mallard’s death. Josephine is the person who informs Louise of the bad news. Josephine tells Louise in broken sentences. Later, after Louise retires to her room, it is Josephine who is trying to check up on her, interrupting Louise’s realization and enjoyment of her newly found freedom. Together, they go downstairs, to Brently’s unexpected return and Louise’s death. The fact that Mrs. Mallard has heart trouble has an effect on the way that others have to treat her.
Josephine’s awareness of her sister’s condition may have caused her to try and be as gentle as possible when informing Mrs. Mallard, but still contributed to breaking her unintentionally anyways. The emotional rollercoaster that Mrs. Mallard is thrown on is probably one of the bigger factors in her death. The news of her husband’s death is the first big drop on the ride. It is a huge shock to Mrs. Mallard. She grieves, but then retires to her room alone where she goes into deep thought. This is where she discovers that she is a free body and soul from marriage and her husband. Her newly found independence is forbidden to her initially.
She tries hard to fight joy that came with her realization because she feels guilty. Then, she begins to embrace it. She is elated and exits her room with a new perspective on the matter. She comes downstairs to the return of her very not dead husband and is again shocked and faced with another huge drop. These high ups and low downs are emotionally tiring to Mrs. Mallard. They are not any help to the fact that she has a weak heart. The biggest cause of Mrs. Mallard’s death is when Brently returns. She has already come to terms with Brently’s death and is looking positively towards her new future as a free woman.
She finds joy in this and Brently’s return rips her freedom away from her, resulting in her death from not joy itself, but rather the loss of joy from losing the freedom she was so fond of. There were many causes that went into Mrs. Louise Mallard’s death. Her heart condition, the news of her husband, Brently Mallard’s, death, her sister’s good intentions, the emotional rollercoaster, and her sudden loss of freedom all add up against Mrs. Mallard. In the end, Mrs. Mallard wasn’t strong enough to handle all of these ups and downs.
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