Story of an Hour

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Dennise Rendon

AP Literature
The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

In “Story of an Hour” a woman has a brief realization that the unexpected news of her husband’s death could open a new world of opportunities for her. Kate Chopin uses nature imagery to represent a woman’s sense of freedom, when she believes that she has been freed from the bonds of marriage. The third person limited point of view from which the story is written gives a clear insight into the thoughts and emotions of Mrs. Mallard as she responds to the news of her husband’s death.

Upon her husband’s death, the most subtle signs of nature give meaning to this supposed tragedy. While facing her window Mrs. Mallard could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life. Spring represents renewal and birth, and Mrs. Mallard is beginning to feel this sense of freedom as she realizes that her husbands death means a new beginning for her. She hears countless sparrows twittering in the eaves as well as the street peddler crying his wares, a symbol of the vitality entering her life now that her husband is dead. She felt something so subtle and elusive creeping out of the sky, reaching her through the sounds, the scents, the color that filled the air leaving her with no room to question whether this was a monstrous joy or not now that freedom felt so sweet to her.

We are made known that Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble. While being gently informed of her husband’s death it turns out to be that her husband was never involved in any accident and did not even have any recollection of any tragedy that had occurred. Upon walking down the stairs with her sister beside her, Mrs. Mallard is face to face with the surprise of her husband arriving at her door. She is at the same time coming face to face with end her freedom she dreamed of and the life she would live for herself. Despite her heart troubles the sudden end of her new found...
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