Themes and Narrative Elements in the Short Story

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Themes and Narrative Elements in the Short Story

Bobbie Davis

ENG 125 Introduction to Literature

September 19, 2011

Themes and Narrative Elements in the Short Story

As I explained in last week’s paper I found Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” to be very intriguing to say the least. It was well written, full of symbols, metaphors and similes; I have decided to write about it once again. After using the historical approach to analyze this story and researching the author herself I found an underlying theme of freedom from social norms with the plot and the character portrayed contributing to that theme.

A plot is a dynamic element in fiction, a sequence of interrelated, conflicting actions and events that typically build to a climax and bring about a resolution (Clugston, 2010). In this story the plot is by no means climatic but it starts with a tragic death, which draws you in, I know morbid but true. Everyone is afraid to tell the young woman about her husband’s death because of her weak heart. They all fear she will die from grief. But when she is told, she locks herself in her room after a crying fit, again, everyone worried that she will make herself ill with grief. But this is not what the young woman is doing. She is realizing something, struggling with something. You have to keep reading because now you want to know…what is she doing? If you understand the metaphors, similes and symbols you can figure it out before the epiphany happens, but you have to read carefully. If you don’t you begin to think her cruel, she’s happy her husband is dead? And the plot thickens until the words escape her mouth, “Free, free, free!” And there is the epiphany, what we have been waiting for. She has struggled with social norms and her husband’s will bending because he was the man and all she wanted was freedom from this problem and she has it! The theme has now become obvious, freedom from social norms.

I feel that the character that...
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