ENG125: Introduction to Literature
Instructor: Olabisi Adenekan
April 28, 2012
Reading Reflection: “The Story of an Hour”
“The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin gives an adverse view of marriage by presenting the reader with a woman who is clearly over whelmed with feelings of joy that her husband has passed away. This is set forth by the use of language in “The Story of an Hour” in which Kate Chopin uses to describe Louise’s emotions when she toggles between shock and joy at her chance for newfound freedom. The narrator of “The Story of an Hour” relates what she sees in simple text, however when Louise’s emotions are being described, the words seem more vibrant and powerful. To some this may suggest that Louise has a deep inner-life that is not connected to the outside world of her husband or her friends. The fact that she retreats to her room to discover her feelings are important shows just that. When the world outside of her bedroom window is being described it is very minimal, but the world that exists inside of her mind is lively and well described by the narrator. The window outside of her room is alive and vibrant like her mind, while everything about her physically is shut off. With the use of certain words to describe the inner-world of detail and life, there are also times in the story when ironic or playful uses of some phrases or images to convey Louise’s happiness. Hidden inside the “The Story of an Hour” is the message that marriage is constraining in many ways. The fact that she dies at the end of “heart disease” can be taken as metaphor for the “disease” of marriage. Much like an illness, she cannot feel free unless the source, which in this case is her husband, is no longer present. The mere fact that it only affects her heart as opposed to any...