Story of an Hour

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Amber Betancourt
Assignment 1
01-29-13

Chopin’s “Story of an Hour” is about a woman with a heart condition, Louise Mallard, who temporarily believes her husband is dead. Mrs. Mallards sister Josephine sits Louise down and breaks the news lightly to her trying to comfort her as best as she can. Louise breaks out into tears and sobs for a bit before returning to her room alone. She sits in a chair and stairs out the window letting everything soak in as she is observing the outside world so alive, fresh, and new. All of a sudden, a sense of freedom overcomes her. She gets to live her life for no one except for herself and this makes her feel liberated. Outside the locked door, her sister Josephine is pleading to let her in because she is worried about her health. Louise tells her to go away and continues to fantasize about the exciting life ahead. She is more concentrated on how she is free than the love she has for her husband. She finally joins her sister and walks down the stairs when the front door opens and in walks Mr. Mallards. The medical doctors said she died from the shock of too much joy. She received the shock that her sister and another friend were trying to prevent.

There is a lot of wonderful symbolism in Chopin’s short story “Story of an Hour.” The first sentence tells us that Louise has heart trouble which ends up symbolizing her marital problems. The shock of seeing her husband alive and the “illness” of marriage is what killed her in the end. The armchair that Louise sits in after secluding herself from everyone in her room is described as “comfortable” and “roomy.” This symbolizes the feeling of being embraced and comforted by the chair. The chair is also sitting in front of an open window, which I think is symbolizing being open to change. She sees the tops of trees that “were all quiver with new spring life” symbolizing her fresh, exciting, new life she is about to bear. The...
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