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The Story of an Hour Webtext and

Questions
Site:
http://archive.vcu.edu/english/engweb/webtexts/hour/storyofhour.html
1. How might heart trouble be more than a physical ailment? Note that
this is the first thing we are told about her and how other people
respond to her. Evidently this is--at least for those around her--an
important part of who she is. Who took care? Why is this written in the
passive voice, with a "hidden" subject? What does this construction
suggest about Mrs. Mallard's customary environment?
a. Sometimes heart trouble can mean sadness.
b. MQ: What kind of heart does she have?
2. Why is she tantalizing her with hints? Is this alerting us that there may
be other "veiled hints" in the story? What does this suggest about how
the family views Mrs. M.?
a. She wants her to figure out that her husband died but not telling
directly. Yes. The family views Mrs. M as sensitive person
b. MQ: What does Richard feel toward Mrs. M?
3. What does this paragraph suggest about Richards' feelings for Mrs. M?
Why is he in such a hurry? Is the code of the "southern gentleman" at
work here, or could there be more to his concern than that?
a. Richards feeling towards Mrs. M is that he cares about her. He is
in a hurry because he has to do something with the railroad
disaster information. It is from the southern gentleman at his
work.
b. Does Mrs. M ever hear about the news of her husbands death?
4. Why we are first told how she does NOT hear the news? What does
this reaction suggest about her? About how "ladies" were expected to
react? Look for repeated uses of the negatives and positives in the
story and consider why they might be used.
a. We were told by minor hints towards Mrs. M. I believe it proves
she has the inability to accept a significance. They usually are
crying when they hear something they love die.
b. MQ: What kind of person is Mrs. M.?
5. What does this passionate response tell us about her? This is our first
real clue as to what sort of person she is--aside from her reported
state of health.
a. That she is really caring person and also sad that she heard that
her husband has died.
b. MQ: Will Mrs. M. live her life without Mr. H.?
6. How are the window and chair descriptions suggestive of longing or
desire? What do they imply about her ordinary life? Look for other
images associated with open and closed.
a. Their descriptions are suggestive of desire because she want to
be alone.
b. That when she is feeling down she comes and sits on that
armchair and stare out the window
c. MQ: How many times in her life has she visited this chair?
7. What does this very dramatic (even melodramatic) statement suggest
about her psychological state? Her life? Note the intimate connection
between body and soul.
a. This statement says that her she has a hard time taking in
horrible things that happen to the ones around her.
b. It shows that throughout her life she has care for the many
important things and people around her.
c. MQ: Could her mind get over with the death of her husband?
8. Note the contrast of motion and stillness. Why is the time of year so
important?
a. This time is so important because it is spring and its the
beginning of a new life.
b. MQ: How will this time affect her life?
9. Delicious ordinarily refers to taste. Who is "tasting" here? Why is the
word used?
a. Mrs. M is the one tasting the breath of the rain.
b. Its used here because to show that she is relaxing due to
relaxing rain.
10. She too has been "crying." What does this detail, as well as the
other sensory images, tell you about what she is experiencing?
a. She is experiencing the acceptance of the death of her husbands
death.
b. MQ: How will she life the rest of her life?
11. How does this picture represent symbolically what she sees
about her situation?
a. It represents her acceptance of her husbands death and feeling
the start of a new life
b. MQ: How is she going to act with people knowing that she has
accepted her husbands death?
12. Why is she compared to a dreaming child?
a. As she is trying to relax it is hard for her to accept her husbands
death and it is like a nightmare.
b. MQ: Will she ever accept that her husband has died?
13. Does her age surprise you? What does her face tell you about
her life?
a. Yes, because I thought her and her husband have been together
for a longer time. Her face tells that she was a calm person
throughout her life unless tragedy hits her unexpectedly.
b. MQ: Does her age affected the way she took in her husbands
death?
14. What sort of emotional state is she in? Again, why is the
negative statement here?
a. She is in a reflection state because she looking back at the times
she spent with her husband.
b. To show that she has not gotten over or accepted her husbands
death and wants him back
c. MQ: Will her emotional state affect her life?
15. In your first reading, what do you guess that "something" might
be? Does that interpretation change with a second reading? Why is this
"message" arriving externally?
a. At my first reading I thought something was a person coming
towards her.
b. Yes because it is not a person, I believe it is a vision of
something or someone.
c. MQ: Is this something a vision of her husband?