Books and Movies Reviews

A Joy that Killed

"A Joy that Kills" (1) was the given diagnosis for Mrs. Mallard's death. But was it the joy of seeing her "dead" husband alive, or from another joy?A Joy that no one could have suspected or even guessed; or was it a joy that came only from finally being free.The Story of an Hour is a short essay that describes what Mrs. Mallard goes through when she finds out her husband has been killed in a train accident, and soon thereafter dies herself of an apparent joy. It is then left up to us to determine what we believe to be the real cause of her death.
When Mrs. Mallardfirst receives the news of her husband's death, sadness takes over her body as, "she wept at once with sudden wild abandonment."(2)Only after heading upstairs to her room to be alone did she slowly but surely realize that her body and soul were now free. Despite the loss of her husband, she is over-come with a happiness and rejuvenation at the prospect of being free after so many years. Mrs. Mallard "saw beyond that bitter moment, a long procession of years to come that would belong to her absolutely. And she opened and spread her arms out to welcome them in."(3) In a sense she feels like a bird that has just been let out of its cage after years of captivity. After a while, she heads back down stairs to talk with Richards, the man that brought the news of her husband's death. As soon as she reaches the bottom of the stairs, Mr. Mallard walks in "looking a little travel-stained. He had been far from the scene of the accident, and did not even know there had been one." (4) The shock of seeing her supposedly "dead" husband alive causes her to have a heart attack and die.
Mrs. Mallard plays a character that has to deal with very serious emotions. Her emotional state goes from one end of the spectrum to the other in only an hour. Atfirst it seems that she dies bec


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