Literary Analysis: the Story of an Hour

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When first reading Kate Chopin's "Story of an Hour," one may not typically be surprised at its ending, write it off as one of those creepy "back from the dead" horror stories and forget about it. There is more to this story than simply horror. The author is making a very strong, however subtle, statement towards humanity and women's rights. Through subtle symbolism, Kate Chopin shows how marriage is more like a confining role of servitude rather than a loving partnership.

Mr. Mallard is assumed to die from a railroad accident (Chopin 181). The railroad has been used to symbolize a transition, moving on, and change. The death of Mr. Mallard would be a transition from Mrs. Mallard being some man's wife to becoming her own person. Mrs. Mallard would inherit her husband's fortunes and the house; she would own her own property. For a woman in that era, owning land was almost unheard of, unless as a result of the death of their husband.

When Mrs. Mallard first hears of the news of her husband's death she barricades herself in her bedroom where she looks out an open window upon the ...
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