The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

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One hour consists of sixty minutes that consists of 3,600 seconds. Within this small, meaningless amount of time a plethora of events, emotions, and experiences can materialize and just as quickly crumble and fade away. The literary work that I will critic is The Story of an Hour, written by Kate Chopin. This writing engaged me by drawing me into the struggle Mrs. Mallard had upon the realization of her impending freedom reminding me of the similar struggle I had during my first marriage. Critiquing this short story was completed with the Reader-Response approach. This approach is when you connect personally with a piece of literature that you are critiquing. According to Journey into Literature, “…making connections and reflecting on them, you have already been using a reader-response approach” (ch.16, pg. 3). Your feelings and opinions are not the only thing you rely on when critiquing literature; distinct details of the essay must be discussed as to why it makes you feel a certain way (Clugston, 2010). Using a different critiquing approach such as the biographical/historical analysis when reading the literary work could also critique this story. Using this analysis, one will understand from the story, the time period that it was written and Mrs. Mallard’s struggle with her feelings of independence. During the 19th century it was acceptable for a woman to be a widow so her new found freedom would have been a smooth transition for her. The Story of an Hour is a satirical account about marriage. Journey into Literature describes a satire as it “calls attention to the difference between what a particular thing should be and what it actually is. Or between the way a particular person should behave and how that person ... ... middle of paper ... ...judge declaring I was now free of this adulterous man. As I completed this story, my thoughts went beyond the end. I wondered how Mr. Mallard would cope with his deceased wife. Would he embrace freedom, as did his wife before her death? Would he grieve for the loss of his marriage? Did he know how Mrs. Mallard felt about him and their marriage? Would her death bring about a change in his life to encourage him to live each day as if it is his last? These are the thoughts I had racing in my mind after my divorce as I was hoping my ex-husband would realize these things as well. Tragedy can instigate a change for the better within a person, if only they allow it to infiltrate their being and transform their soul. Works Cited Clugston, R. W. (2010). Journey into literature. San Diego, California: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

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