The Story of an Hour

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Colleen Fabiszak
Mr. Baltrum
HUM 120
3/12/2012
Literary Devices

The Story of an Hour is a short story that centers on a woman who thinks her husband has died and how she deals with his supposed death. This short story by Kate Chopin is incorporates a metaphor, a simile, and irony of fate as its major literary devices.

This short story uses similes to describe how the main character in the story, Mrs. Mallard, is doing with the news of her husband’s death. “She sat with her head thrown back upon the cushion of the chair, quite motionless, except when a sob came up into her throat and shook her, as a child who has cried itself to sleep continues to sob in its dreams” (Chopin 169 ). The simile compares Mrs. Mallard to a child who has cried itself to sleep and yet still continues to sob while sleeping. The comparison helps the reader to understand that she has cried and cried and since has stopped, however she still isn’t done. Like a child who has gone to sleep the occasional sob still appears even though the energy has been drained and the effort to sob is gone. The simile’s job in this portion of the text is to show how upset Mrs. Mallard is after hearing the news of her husband’s death and how dismal she appears. Earlier in the short story the author uses a metaphor so that the reader understands how intense her sadness is.

The Story of an Hour, similar to the simile, uses a metaphor to compare the sadness Mrs. Mallard is feeling to an intense storm. “She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister’s arms. When the storm of grief had spent itself she went away to her room alone’ (Chopin 169). Mrs. Mallard was told the news of her husband’s death and felt an intense sense of grief. Mrs. Mallard wept and cried and held nothing back when her sister was holding her. Comparing her grief to a whirlwind of a storm helps the reader understand how powerful her grief is at that moment. After her sense of grief and sadness, the reader later...
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