The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin

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“The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin

“The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin is very intriguing, not only because of the emotional change Louise Mallard goes through the hour after her husband’s tragic death but also the way Chopin uses irony in the story. During this analysis of “The Story of an Hour” we will discuss the summary, plot, setting, tone, theme, point of view, emotions of Louise Mallard and other characters involved in the story. Chopin’s story uses the feelings of a married woman in the late 1890’s and feminine identities, to help the reader better understand married life of a woman during that period in time. In the story, Louise Mallard is a young woman with a heart condition who recently is informed of her husband’s death. At first she is sad and then a wonderful feeling begins to come over her, it is happiness; freedom, although she does not feel that for long. “She knew that she would weep again when she saw the kind, tender hands folded in death; the face that had never looked save with love upon her, fixed and gray and dead” (Chopin 2). “And yet she had loved him – sometimes. Often she had not” (Chopin 2). Kate Chopin uses nature imagery, irony and tragedy to set the theme; women’s role in a marriage and feminine identity. “Marriage was considered a sacred institution. Divorce was quite rare in the 1800s and if one was to occur; men were automatically given legal control of all property and children” (Hicks 1).

The point of view in Chopin’s short story, the narrator uses a non-participant approach to tell the story in third person point of view with limited omniscience. Whether or not the reader is more sympathetic with the narrator using first person depends on the story. In this story, I think the read...

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... Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Janet Witalec. Vol. 127. Detroit: Gale, 2002. Word Count:3263. From Literature Resource Center.

2. An overview of “The Story of an Hour”. Jennifer Hicks. Short Stories for Students. Detroit: Gale, 2002. Word Count: 1457. From Literature Resource Center.

3. Emotions in The Story of an Hour. S. Selina Jamil. The Explicator. 67.3 (Spring 2009) p215.Word Count: 2612. From Literature Resource Center.

4. Chopin's 'The Story of an Hour.'. Daniel P. Deneau. Explicator 61.4 (Summer 2003): p210-213. Rpt. in Short Story Criticism. Vol. 110. Detroit: Gale.Word Count: 1555. From Literature Resource Center.

5. Chopin, Kate. The Story of an Hour. 7th ed. Cengage Learning, 2010. 106-108. Print
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