Imagery In Kate Chopin's The Story Of An Hour

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Kate Chopin writes an impressive short story titled “The Story of an Hour” about a woman who begins to live the very moment word is heard that her husband has died. Most would see this as an insensitive way to react to such a tragedy. In a state of emotional distress at the initial hearing of the news, Louise Mallard begins to cry for two reasons; her emotions are drowning in agony and she is also aware that it is expected of her to react in such a way. However, once she is able to sneak away from those who are looking for her reaction, she is overcome with an intense amount of joy because she feels that she is finally free from the shadows of a man. The way Chopin formulates and executes this story allows the reader to begin to make sense…show more content…
Mallard was feeling in that room alone. While looking at the window, Chopin describes what Louise can see as “new spring life” and the “delicious breath of rain” in the air. Then suddenly, a wave of uncontrollable emotion comes over her body and at first she tries to fight the sensation, but ultimately she cannot help but to feel joy. The reader can see this excitement through Chopin’s writing when she says “now her bosom rose and fell tumultuously”, referring to her heavy breathing due to her overbearing and unprecedented joy. After completely subjecting herself to what is only described as a “possession”, she says one word repeatedly: “free, free, free”. The use of imagery in this short story allows the reader to see and feel what is happening to Louise Mallard personally in this moment of what is seen as a disagreeable emotion in a time of…show more content…
It does appear to be inconsiderate and inappropriate unless, there is an underlying reason for this type of behavior. In the late nineteenth century, it was no secret that women were inferior to men and the primary role of women was to keep the men, or rather their husbands, happy. It is the wife’s responsibility to provide her husband “a happy home” (“The Role of the Wife and Mother”). Now, it may be easier to understand why the announcement of her husband’s death could have been relieving in some sense. A sensation came over her body that gave her just a glimpse of an open door to sovereignty. In Mrs. Mallard’s eyes, her life was just beginning. A new start was waiting on her to seize the opportunity of independence without the oppressive shield of a man. She would finally live her life for the well-being of no one but herself. While she finally feels like a free woman, the writer makes it very clear that Louise is still aware that this sort of behavior is unacceptable to society. The balance between personal fulfillment and societal acceptance would never be met, but she was content. Chopin writes that Louise said a quick prayer to ask the Lord for a long life now that she can fulfill all that her heart desires. After long years of an oppressive marriage weighing on her, at this moment Louise is liberated and convinced that the best years of her life are yet to
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