Emily Choumbakos Literature Based Research Erin Lesh 4 May 2014 There is one clear main character,

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Emily Choumbakos Literature Based Research Erin Lesh 4 May 2014 There is one clear main character, Mrs. Louise Mallard. The story is almost entirely focused on her, her feelings, and her personal mental journey from being a prisoner and a shell of a woman, living in an oppressive, patriarchal society within the confines of a marriage to the elation of newly acquired freedom and a rebirth of that that, for the first time, belongs to her solely. There are however three other characters in the short story and neither their presence nor meaning is clear, but instead left, perhaps intentionally, ambiguous. These secondary characters are Richards and Josephine, and to a lesser extent, Brently Mallard the husband of Louise. Although Josephine…show more content…
It was not typical in the time period of the story, nor is it now, for the sister of a bride to live with her and her husband in their home. Her presence is not at all crucial to the progression of the plot, and she has no significant impact on the substance of the story, the feelings and rebirth of Louise Mallard, which comprises the majority of the story’s text. Josephine lends significance to the story because she serves to illustrate symbolism. A powerful symbolic detail in this story, one that is easily overlooked, but is of substantial significance to enhance understanding of the story, is the way in which Louise Mallard is referred to. The story begins its first sentence by referring to the protagonist as Mrs. Mallard. This simple reference is the first impression given to the reader of the main character. By calling her Mrs. Mallard as opposed to calling her Louise Mallard, or simply Louise the impression and understanding of her is shaped for the reader. Identifying and introducing the character, as Mrs. Mallard is essentially defining her through the existence of another. Her name, and thus her entire existence is not referred to as being that of an individual defined by her own traits, but instead as the wife of another individual. She is not her own person with a life that is her own, but rather she is defined only through being attached to Mr. Mallard. Josephine makes her most important

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