February 22, 2012
The Short Happy Life of Louise Mallard
“The Story of an Hour,” by Kate Chopin displays the internal battle of Mrs. Mallard and her struggle with independence. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Mrs. Mallard’s negative outlook on her life and marriage suddenly changed into a confident and independent glimpse of the future. What was initially a negative outlook on matrimony, quickly developed into a confident and independent demeanor. The audience is vividly exposed to Mrs. Mallards change in identity regarding her role as a woman, and her optimism. The reader experiences a rapid transformation of wife to woman through Chopin’s creative use of irony and symbolism, alongside a theme of co-dependency and feminism.
From start to finish, Chopin supplies the reader with a descriptive glimpse into what is going on in the mind of the main character, instantly trapping her audience. Most captivating, however, was the creative use of different symbolisms to give the main character as well as the reader, support by foreshadowing a positive outcome. These symbolisms can be located in almost every other sentence. I will touch on a few of which I found to be the greatest supporting roles of symbolism. Chopin sets up “The Story of an Hour” with a brief introduction of the protagonist, Mrs. Mallard, who has an ongoing struggle with heart trouble. The reader is given a vision that Mrs. Mallard is a sensitive and soft hearted woman, and depending on the interpretation of the reader, the first hint of symbolism is introduced. Mrs. Mallard’s heart condition insists on a gentle disclosure of the recent news of her husband’s confirmed death in a train accident. Once told, “She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance.” (para. 3) This throws a sudden twist, and leaves the audience to ponder what happens next. Mrs. Mallard quickly disappears by herself into...