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Different responses - Essay Example

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Mallard is an interesting and complex character, manifesting a myriad of emotions and thought processes that invite a varied and diverse interpretation by the readers. While Chopin’s brilliance in developing and portraying such a character that encourages…
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Different responses
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Download file to see previous pages People with specific leanings, shaped by their age, gender or values, may observe and interpret Mrs. Mallard’s character using their own lens of perception.
Feminists readers, on reading the immense emotional turmoil that Mrs. Mallard goes through as the realization dawns on her that she is finally free, may lament the bondages of marriage that pushed a woman to such desperation and depravity that she had to wait for a husband’s death to breathe in free air. A feminist perspective would therefore interpret Mrs. Mallard as a wife, who was feeling stuck and suffocated by her husband, probably due to lack of compatibility between them. In spite of this repressed desperation, Mrs. Mallard has been conditioned by the society to continue to play the role of a good wife. She plays that role as automation, even forgetting what her true feelings and desires were, until one day her husband is dead and her deeply buried feelings rush to the surface. Even at that specific moment, she reacts, with I believe female readers would relate and sympathize with Mrs. Mallard’s character, as more often than not, women have experienced suppression and had to repress their desires to maintain appearances of congeniality imposed on them by society.
On the other hand, male readers probably would be harsher and judgmental of Mrs. Mallard, as she is a woman well provided for by her husband who had a “face that never looked saved with love upon her”. Ideally, in a male dominated society, a woman’s assigned position is to dedicate herself to husband and home, which is does not appear to be the case with Mrs. Mallard. A woman, whose husband is dead, is expected to feel the emotions of remorse, despondence and even fear of a long and lonely life, even if that husband was a dastard when alive. Chopin has managed to capture the presumed dead husband’s character in just a few sentences - that he was a good husband who ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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