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Analysis of The Storm In McKnight Malmars frightening story The Storm she weaves a violent storm and murder together to heighten the horrific fear that engulfs Janet Willsom. The storm is a combination of mother nature, Janets emotions and her heartbreaking dilemmas. The story begins with Janet Willsom coming home from a vacation seeing her sister who is very ill. She has come back a week early hoping her husband, Ben, would be home so she could surprise him but hes not. There is a very strong storm unfolding outside and Janet gets concerned with Bens whereabouts. She wonders if he is still in the city working late. There is a letter addressed to Ben on the table but she destroys it because she knows that this letter is probably no different from the others that have been sent to him in the past. Throughout this suspenseful tale she is lonely in the isolated home far away from the busy urban city.
As the storm got worse, she started to hear footsteps and she thought she saw a face at the window in the living room. Was this ghostly face in the window her husband? Realizing that maybe it was her imagination, she went to the basement to get wood to make a fire. The basement was damp and dark and there was a chill in the air because the basement door was wide open. Janet wondered if the wind was so strong that it blew it open or if there was an intruder. She grabbed the doorknob and closed it as hard as she could because the wind was so strong. The fire wood was in the corner so she walked towards it. All of a sudden she noticed that her old trunk was opened just a crack, she walked to over to it and threw it open. Lying in there was a body of a woman in a red dress with a mans diamond ring on her finger. In terror Janet ran up the basement stairs, locked the door and reinforced it with a heavy wooden chair. Simutainously she heard glass shattering from the cellar window and ran into the living room to calm her fears.
Soon after, Janets husband Ben walked in the front door soaking wet, dirty and pale. She started to tell her husband the events that had happened that night. He found it hard to believe that there was a prowler lurking around outside and that there was a dead body in the trunk. Janet took him to the basement, they looked in the trunk but there was nothing in it. She wondered if she was seeing things until she saw the same diamond ring on her husbands finger that had been on the womans finger. She realizes that her husband killed the woman. With all of the fear and strength in her body she runs up the basement stairs, ignoring Ben screaming her name she runs out of the house and never looks back. The story gave me a feeling that I was there out of sight from her but watching her every move. It was also from a very suspenseful third-person point of view.
Throughout the story she thinks about all the good qualities her husband has and at the same time is missing him. The letters that are addressed to him says New York City on the envelope; he is always angry about those letters but Janet never sees the contents of those letters. My theory is that these letters are from his mistress; she was blackmailing him to leave his wife. There was a lot of emphasis on the storm itself , She starts to become apprehensive about the storm because of its increasing power The wind hammered at the door and the windows, and the air was full of the sound of water, racing in the gutters, pouring from the leaders, thudding on the roof. (244) I feel that there is a storm outside but there also a storm going on from within Janet because she has doubt about her husbands fidelity. As for the ghostly face in the window and the dead woman in the trunk; her husband killed his mistress, heard his wife walking in the front door, put the dead body in the trunk and ran out the basement door to the outside. He was the face Janet saw in the window. Once she went to the basement to get fire wood and left, he couldnt open the basement door, so he broke the window, took the dead body and disposed of it. Janet yearns for her husband to protect her from the storm and in the end she takes comfort from the storm.
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