Literary Analysis the Story of an Hour

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  • Topic: Heart disease, The Open Window, Heart
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  • Published : March 27, 2012
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Literary Analysis

In Chopin’s short story “The Story of an Hour “Mrs. Mallard is characterized as a fragile woman with” heart trouble” (para.1). Richards, a friend of her husband, hears the news of the train accident first, at the newspaper. Knowledge of Mrs. Mallard’s heart condition, prompts Richards to contact her sister, Josephine, to deliver the news. “She wept at once” (para.3). Then Mrs. Mallard went away to her room. Chopin describes Mrs. Mallard as weak and maybe heart broken. Josephine was kneeling at the door with her lips to the keyhole imploring her to open the door. Implying Mrs. Mallard would make herself ill.

At first she takes the news like any loving widower would have. After leaving her sister and Richards, “Mrs. Mallard sank into a roomy chair facing the open window” (para.4) pressed down by the physical exhaustion that haunted her body, and seemed to reach into her soul. She sat with her head thrown back, motionless except for the sob that broke through, like a child that head cried itself to sleep. (para.9) it seems Mrs. Mallard is too upset and ill to see any one, and she’s too weak to even get up and open the door.

Mrs. Mallard was young, with a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke of “repression and even a certain strength” ( para. 8) but, now there was a dull stare in her eyes. It was not a glance of reflection, but rather indicated a” suspension of intelligent thought.” Here, Chopin is describing the moment when Mrs. Mallard realizes she is young and a widow. Then, there is something coming to her and she is waiting for it, fearfully. She felt it, creeping out of the sky, reaching towards her through color, scents, and sounds. (para. 9)” When she abandons herself a little whispered word escaped her slightly parted lips”. She said it over and over again, under her breath, “Free, free, free!” Her eyes stayed keen and bright. (para.11) Mrs. Mallard seems to be happy that her husband is dead. She loved him, but not all the...
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