The Central Misunderstanding in "The Story of an Hour", "Kansas" and Mislaid Plan"

Essay by Ericlare1College, Undergraduate September 2007

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Reading the “Story of an Hour”103, “Mislaid Plans” 98, and “Kansas” 107, one can seethat a common trend runs through them, and with a careful analysis , one can say that thecritic and scholar Elizabeth Spoto is not far from wrong when she writes in her article“Insight and personality” that each of the above story is based on some centralmisunderstanding.

In the “Story of an hour”, Chopin begins her story based on a misinformation about thedeath of Mr. Mallard 103.It is this piece of misinformation that has unraveled series ofmisunderstanding that beset the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Mallard. She used this story toportray the misunderstanding that couples tend to have in their marriages. It also revealsthe perceptions people have about other people’s marriage. In the case of Mr. and Mrs.

Mallard, as portrayed by the story, Josephine the sister of Mrs. Mallard and Richards thefriend to Mr.

Mallard, thought the tragic news of the death of Mr. Mallard would breakthe heart of Mrs. Mallard, so they have gone to the extent of breaking the news “to her asgently as possible” (104), in order not to trigger her heart attack. But this turn out ratherthat the death of her husband is more a relief to her than grief. It is a piece of news that will set her “body and soul free”(105) and will not caused her to have a heart attack asJosephine and Richard thought.

Another misunderstanding that is found in the story is Mrs. Mallard’s desire to be alonein her room after she received the news of her husband’s death. Her being alone ismisunderstood by Josephine that her sister was going to “make herself ill” (105).Insteadshe ceased that moment to think of the many years ahead of her which she will enjoywithout any control from...