Symbolism In Kate Chopin's The Story Of An Hour

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“The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin is a provocative story that may have kicked-off "modern" feminist literature. Originally written in 1894, the story addresses women’s role in the late 19th century, directing harsh attack against the Victorian ideal of “the Angel of the House” that was mainly dominant at that age and it saw woman as a docile, self-sacrificing, and naive creature that have no sense of individuality. Highlighting such a bold perspective, Chopin’s story reflects the unusual reaction of her protaginist upon learning of her husband’s death. Chopin describes Louise’s emotions as shifting between grief and ecstasy at her newfound freedom. It is through such story that Chopin is able to accantiuate her very outstanding ideology…show more content…
She employs symbolism so that she would be able to reflect her own ideology through the protaginist feelings ,reactions ,and thoughts. She uses positive symbols to foreshadow Louise’s future without her husband who was killed in a railroad accident. This Short story is rich in symbolism “ The open window” is symbolic of the years of opportunity that spread out before her now. She spreads her arms out to welcome the years that will now belong to her absolutely. The “arm chair” is a symbol of relief and comfort that she feels after her husband's death. Moreover, “Heart Trouble” stands for her struggle in her personal life and it also reinforces the “trouble” Mrs. Mallard is having with her “heart” within her marriage. She uses imagery which had a symbolic significance and that is manifisted in "Delicious Breath of rain" is a symbol for hopefulness and is also imagery of taste as in "delicious". "Birds are twittering" is not only an imagery of hearing but also a symbol for optimism after being freed. The symbols and imagery used by Kate Chopin's in “The Story of an Hour” give the reader a sense of Louise’s newfound freedom so it reflect woman’s individuality and selfhood. However, this individuality is considered taboo at as those inner aspirations has run in contradiction to the conservative spirit of her age. Moreover, Louise’s thoughts, dream,…show more content…
That is clear when Chopin made the general tone of this short story is ironical as she made the reader expects something and by the end of the story she changes their expectation. That is because readers expect Mr. Mallard to be dead but at the end of the story it is Mrs. Mallard who died instead and this is situational irony. Moreover, the reader expect that Mrs. Mallard is a fragile woman who suffers from "heart trouble" as Chopin portrayed her. “ She was young, with a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression and even a certain strength.” There is a paradox here between the two contradictory words that indicate she is not the character we thought she is but a different one , after being released of this marriage that repressed her she feels as a "goddess of victory." With the development of the story Louise starts to change and show her inner feelings and thoughts that reflect Chopin ideology in the story. Furthermore, there is verbal irony in “the joy that kills" as the writer means that she dies out of disappointment after draining her of her dream , not of "the joy that kills " as the doctor said and that reflects that the southern community will never acknowledge women's innermost feelings, individuality, and selfhood. Now we can say that Chopin was ahead of her time in her subject and her approach. The fact that she tackled a very sensitive issues
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