ENG125: Introduction to Literature (ADI1303A)
The Story of an Hour-Theme and Narrative Elements
When considering short stories, it is very important to realize that the little things make a big difference in how a piece is perceived. Each piece must be in sync to really help convey the short story in the way that was meant. Different literary elements are integrated in different short stories. For Kate Chopin, her piece The Story of an Hour, symbolism and point of view play very strongly into the story.
To understand the significance of these elements, one must understand what this story is about. The Story of an Hour is directly about how a woman finds out, and reacts, to news of her husband’s passing. But that is just the plot. The theme of the story goes far beyond that. Theme “is a representation of the idea behind the story (Clugston.)” When looking at Chopin’s story, a distinct theme is seen. This is the fear of being happy beyond marriage. Without delving into symbolism at this point, Mrs. Mallard, at first seems timid and concerned, but then transitions into feeling of joy. It is as if she is scared of being judged for being happy that her husband is gone. When she finally realizes that it is ok, she celebrates with her sister, only to find out that her husband had not died, it had been a mistake. With this return, this joy that she had experienced quickly retreats, only to leave her dead.
Chopin uses so much symbolism throughout this short piece to communicate the way that the character was feeling. The first was the mention of the open window that she looked out soon after hearing the news. This window is a direct reference to the freedom that Louise suddenly realizes upon hearing the news. She starts to see everything happy outside- from fluffy clouds to people singing. This is all symbolizing the new opportunity that she is beginning to see possible for her. The window was just the...