The Story of an Hour

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Analysis of "The story of an hour"

In "The story of an hour" Kate Chopin tells the story of a woman, Mrs. Mallard whose husband is thought to be dead. Throughout the story Chopin describes the emotions Mrs. Mallard felt about the news of her husband's death. However, the emotions she felt were not over come by despair or by sadness, they were something else. In a way she was relieved more than she was upset, and almost rejoiced in the thought of her husband no longer living. In using different literary elements throughout the story, Chopin conveys this to us on more than one occasion.

In the third paragraph of the story, Chopin describes Mrs. Mallard as she goes into her room and sits on an armchair. Chopin describes how Mallard "sank pressed down by a physical exhaustion that haunted the body and seemed to reach into her soul". In this point of the story Chopin uses symbolism connecting Mrs. Mallard and the chair, the chair representing the death of her husband and her feelings about it. How it was "a comfortable roomy chair", she is showing us how Mrs. Mallard was "comfortable" with her husband's death and now felt she had room to exist freely. This is supported by the lines "she would live for herself now. There would be no powerful will bending her in the blind…" This demonstrating to the reader that she felt controlled by her husband, and that she would no longer bet tied down to the ways of the time, which were men control women. This also supported by Jennifer Hicks in her overview of the story which states " Later, when we see Mrs. Mallard "warm and relaxed", we realize that problem with her heart is that her marriage has not allowed her to "live for herself"."

Another example of how Mrs. Mallard was more uplifted than brought down by the news of her husband's death is the description of the window. As Mrs. Mallard looks out Chopin explains "she could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees that were all a quiver with new...
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