Since I have already read this story as a junior in high school I do not have a very strong reaction to it, although I can recall my reaction from when I first read this sad short story. I read this in my AP English class in high school and I had the teacher that stressed how everything had a meaning. Since this skill was already burned into my brain by the time we read this work by Kate Chopin, I could easily pick apart and decipher the meaning of this story. I believe that Kate Chopin carefully picked each word and sentence in this story to get the ultimate impact, and she surpassed her goal by miles. After reading the entire story I had a sense of sorrow and grief upon my shoulders not only for what Mrs. Mallard was experiencing after losing her husband, but also for the loss of Mrs. Mallard’s life at the closing of the story. It truly saddens me when anyone has to experience the loss of a loved one; but what saddens me even more is that Louise Mallard lost her life because of the sheer force being restrained back into the role of nothing but Mrs. Mallard hit her with. I do not believe that Louise had an amazing marriage but I will say I think she had a good one. If she did not have a good marriage or did not love her husband then she would not have wept as she did when she was told the news. So, my initial reaction to this short story was of sorrow and grief, but then also happiest for the brief sense of freedom and true identity Louise Mallard got to experience.
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