Essay on The Story Of An Hour By Kate Chopin

Essay on The Story Of An Hour By Kate Chopin

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The singer, Frank Sinatra, once sang a song that included the lyrics “[L]ove and marriage…It’s an institute you can’t disparage….” However, throughout the ages, both men and women have randomly disparaged the institute through many forums. Author, Kate Chopin is no exception. In her short story, The Story of An Hour, she presents a tale of a woman who receives news that her husband died in a railroad explosion and how she reacts to this devastating news. Concealed in symbolism, imagery, and metaphors, Chopin reveals her own aversion towards the institute of marriage through her protagonist, Mrs. Mallard.
In the opening sentence of The Story of An Hour, the reader is made aware that the protagonist, Mrs Mallard, “was afflicted with a heart trouble.”(1) Chopin devided to write the malagy of mrs. Mallard as “a” heart trouble and not heart trouble which directs the reader to understand that she has trouble related to her emotional heart, or love. To those around her, like her sister Jopsephine and her husband’s friend, Richards, they believe that she was still in love with her husband, Brently Mallard. When Josephine and Richards learned of Brently’s death they wanted to break the news to Mrs. Mallard gently because they feared it might harm her heart. Upon hearing the news of her huband’s death, Mrs. Mallard “wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment.” Initially, this appears to be true emotional feelings of a woman who loved her husband and loved being married to him. However, her “storm of grief” leaves and she wants to be alone in her room. The imagery of the storm defines her grief to be quick and passing. Mrs. Mallard cries in front of Josephine and Richards, her audience. After her act, she exits her stage and goes ...


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...s giving her the freedom and independent identity she longed for. After the death of her husband, Chopin raised their six children and never remarried. Chopin portrays Mrs. Mallard as the typical nineteenth-century woman who changes into a joyful freed soul when she is mistakenly told her husband died in a railroad accident. Mrs. Mallard quickly embraces the idea of being free and unlocks herself from her room when her sister calls her by her first name. Louise Mallard gains her own identity, no longer constrained by the bounds of marriage. Chopin makes certain to inform the reader that Louise now carried herself like “a goddess of Victory” because she was no longer married. Chopin’s narrator reflects on all of the wonderful and positive aspects of single life for Louise. Yet, Mrs. Mallard gives little thought or praise for the institution of marriage.

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