Mrs Mallard's Experience of Freedom in The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

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Mrs Mallard's Experience of Freedom in The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

In "The Story of an Hour", Mrs Mallard, who has a heart attack is the

main protagonist. Like any ordinary women, she is a normal housewife

who depends on her husband. The news of her husband's death gives her

freedom and sets her free from restraints, marriage and a lifetime of


Kate Chopin uses several techniques to create the image of how freedom

affects Mrs Mallard. At first, Mrs Mallard is shocked by the news

which is shown in

"She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister's

arms." and

"When the storm of grief had spent itself she went away to her room


These describe her immediate response and tell that she is so shaken

by the news that she weeps at once and goes away alone. Chopin uses

some special diction like "sudden", "wild abandonment" and "storm of

grief" to indicate that the news is very abrupt and unsettling. These

words create an unexpected and tense atmosphere which helps to plot

the unpredictable emotions of Mrs Mallard. Meanwhile, Chopin uses

personification to say that the news is a sudden attack to Mrs Mallard

which strengthens the shocking emotion of Mrs Mallard. This can also

be found in

"She sat with her head thrown back upon the cushion of the chair,

quite motionless, except when a sob came up into her throat and shook


This says that Mrs Mallard is so confused and jolted that she sobs

helplessly as Chopin uses "motionless" and "sob" which is a physical

manifestation of an emotion to tell that Mrs Mallard is stunned and

feeling disbelieving. Concurrently, Chopin use...

... middle of paper ...

...s Mallard is now really enjoys life which is

reinforces in

"Feverish triumph in her eyes, and she carried herself unwittingly

like a goddess of Victory."

as it suggests that Mrs Mallard is stimulated and is being confident

and proud by the trophy. Here, Chopin uses fascination diction

"feverish triumph" and a simile" like a goddess of victory" to reflect

Mrs Mallard's emotion which create a very strong image of exultant

which shows that she becomes optimistic to life and proud or even

pride of herself. Chopin plots this to contrast to the ending

"She had died of heart disease-- of joy that kills."

which makes a dramatic ending and marks the climax of the story.

Works Cited:

Chopin, Kate. ?The Story of an Hour.? From Roberts and Jacobs' Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. Sixth Edition, p. 392.

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