Louise and Brently Mallard

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Louise Mallard and her newfound freedom

Louise Mallard is a lady who is in a marriage that she only realizes has been oppressive to her after the news of the death of her husband. She has a history of heart troubles, which makes it difficult for her sister to break the tragic news to her. Normally, a new widow is expected to drown in grief for the loss of their spouses which is not entirely the case for Louise. She is fully aware of the sadness that would engrave her life upon the burial of her husband who was loving and kind to her. However, her inner being screams of the newly found independence and freedom of being unmarried. She mumbles to herself, “free”, following the tragic news.

A shocking return

As she basks in the glory of her new profound freedom, her husband returns home, unharmed and alive. The news is shocking to her that she develops a heart problem and is rushed to the hospital. As she is wheeled to the hospital, she can hear a distant cry begging her to stay alive. She recognizes the sound like her sister’s. Doctors are quick to pump in treatment to her to stabilize her condition. Alone left to recover, she hears the door open and three people walk in. She recognizes their voices, her husband Brently and her sister Josephine. She pretends to be asleep as she is not ready to face the reality of her husband being alive. She recognizes the voice of a man who walks in and requests the family to go back home as it is late. She is killed with guilt inside for not celebrating the survival of her husband. Everyone leaves the room and leaves her to her own thoughts and later she drifts to a deep sleep.

A stroll in the corridors

She loses her sleep in the middle of the night and feels the urge to talk a stroll in the quiet hospital corridors. As she walks, she sees a distant light coming from an office and decides to walk towards the door. She opens the door slowly and peeks inside to see a man with his head laid on the desk. She walks towards him and nudges him slowly to wake up. The man wakes up startled and looks at the lady standing in front of him with confusion. He recognizes how white and attractive her eyes are but shakes off the thought on the memory of his wife at home. He remembers her as his patient who was brought in for treatment a couple of hours ago. He glances at the clock stationed adjacent to his door and recognizes how late it is. Louise clears her throat to get his attention but he doesn’t look at her. She recognizes a name tag on the desk, Dr. John. She calls him by his name gaining his full attention. She is curious to know why he was sleeping at his office. She asks if there is trouble at home. John stares in space and fails to answer the question. After a few minutes, Louise begins talking about her predicament back at home and how she is not ready to get back to her role as a wife nor face her husband due to the guilt within her. She expresses her desire to elope to a different city and start her life all over again. There is a comfortable silence between them and she is convinced the doctor will not open up about his issues. She takes it as her cue to leave and go back to her room. As she holds the doorknob to open it, the doctor finally speaks and says that he is desperate to heal his wife. She turns back to face him.

Escaping to a new life

He explains how his plans of helping his wife recover have been futile. He was getting to despair and lacked the strength to face his wife who was drowning into depression as every day passed. He was running out of options on how to make her feel better. He was broken. Louise felt the urge to console him. She moved towards him and embraced him. He was tense in her arms but hugged her back after a while. They were fighting battles inside. She had a favor to ask from him. She needed to check herself out of the hospital before the crack of dawn before her family was back to check on her. She could not continue living in a marriage at her own happiness expense. She could not face her husband and break the news to her. He loved and took good care of her. John was not sure she was making the right choice but he felt the desperation in her voice. He would be risking his career for the stranger lady. She said that her health condition was great and would go to a different hospital in case any issue arose. He told her he knew of a motel nearby and would help her escape as he was on his way home. She nodded and walked fast towards her room to collect her belongings and walked towards the exit door he had told her about. He was waiting in his car. Once she was inside his car they drove off in complete silence. She saw the motel’s signpost from a distance and turned to John. She wished him all the best and told him not to lose hope on his wife. At the motel’s entrance, she exited the car, waved at him as he prepared to take off. Once the car left her vicinity, she turned towards the hotel entrance, took a deep breath and smiled.

The characters and themes in the story

I chose the characters to aid Louise, from the story of an hour, to explore and live her newfound freedom which she yearned for inside and prayed to God to grant her. John, who is a doctor with an ailing wife from the yellow wallpaper, is known to have a dry clinical rationale personality. I chose to make him be considerate to help Louise with her escape plan. It was to show that he would twitch his mind to having the need to help someone when he can since he is finding it difficult to help his wife. The main theme in the story is selflessness and determination. Louise does not swoon back to her unfulfilling marriage upon return of her husband. She yearns for freedom which she is willing to pursue by leaving her whole life back. The main setting of the story is in the hospital where John works as a doctor. I chose the two characters as they are in the same situation in marriage but in different settings. Louise yearns for freedom from her husband while John yearns to help her wife recover.

August 21, 2023

Art Literature

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