Criminals are tried in our court system everyday for crimes they are accused of committing. In these court cases, witnesses are called to give an account of what happened in the particular incident and then a jury of twelve members decides the criminal's ruling on the case. The jury does not listen to just one witness; it takes into account the stories of many witnesses in order to decipher the truth. "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin and "Richard Cory" by Edwin Arlington Robinson show one cannot fully rely on what other people say in certain situations.
The reader does not know exactly what happened to Richard Cory. All the reader has to go by is what the townspeople say. The townspeople say Richard Cory went home and put a bullet in his head. That sounds like he kills himself, but it might not be that way. The reader does not know anything about what Richard Cory feels from this poem so he cannot assume anything. The townspeople are not fully reliable because they do not know Richard Cory personally. All they know is he is rich and thought to be well off. Because of this unreliability, the reader is left in the dark as to what happens to Richard Cory.
In "The Story of an Hour," Mrs. Mallard only goes on what her sister Josephine tells her about her husband's death. As soon as Josephine tells her, Mrs. Mallard begins to weeps and locks herself in her room, not knowing that her husband was actually alive. Mrs. Mallard could have verified this information from Josephine from another source and made sure it was correct instead of fully relying on one report. Not doing this led to her locking herself in her room and isolating herself from everybody else. This is not saying that Josephine is not a reliable person; she just might not have known all the facts, a good reason for Mrs. Mallard to get other opinions on the issue and find out for herself what exactly happened.
In Richard Cory, the reader relies on the...