Identity And Selfhood In Kate Chopin's The Story Of An Hour

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“She was beginning to recognize this thing that was approaching to possess her, and she was striving to beat it back with her will” (Chopin 15). At this moment was when the main character in “The Story of an Hour”, Mrs. Mallard, began to recognize that it was not so disastrous that her Husband, Mr. Mallard, died in a railroad disaster; beginning to feel a sense of freedom in her life that she had never felt before. In this story by Kate Chopin, the overcoming theme is identity and selfhood, which, Mrs. Mallard begins to identify after the tragic news; there are a variety of literary terms that utilize this theme, symbolism, irony, and imagery are a few that aid in better understanding this theme. Symbolism, seen all throughout the story, helps the theme for example: After the news of her husband’s death, Mrs. Mallard feels devastated and races upstairs to her bedroom, “There stood, facing the open window, a comfortable roomy, armchair. Into this she sank, pressed down by a physical exhaustion that haunted her body and seemed to reach into her soul” (Chopin 15). The armchair symbolizes the rest she feels from her oppressive life and all the expectations of freedom she feels. Another…show more content…
When Mrs. Mallard began to realize that the whole situation of her husband dying was not so horrific, Chopin describes, “ she abandoned herself a little whispered word escaped her slightly parted lips. She said it over and over under her breath: “free, free, free!” The vacant look of terror that had followed it went from her eyes” (Chopin 15). The description used by Chopin illustrates the scenario that Mrs. Mallard is facing; making it visible for the readers to understand how Mrs. Mallard realizes that she has a new beginning with her life without her having to make every decision based on her
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