ENG 125: Introduction to Literature
February 11, 2013
A Glimpse into The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin
Literature can be found at every turn and there are many different genres to choose from. Each brings with it a new world for the reader to immerse himself. Literature allows the reader to experience a new perspective. It allows the reader to feel and connect with the story and its characters. No matter the genre, the world created in a literary work provides enlightenment to the reader in spite of the varying emotions it conveys. One such literary work is Kate Chopin’s, “The Story of an Hour”. This short story captured my interest through its use of irony. In studying this specific work, I chose to use a reader-response approach to evaluate and analyze the text. Using a reader-response approach allows me to connect with the story and reflect on the wide array of emotions presented in the story. In order to connect I had to read imaginatively and immerse myself in the story and put myself in the shoes of the main character, Mrs. Mallard. Once that was taken care of I had to consider or analyze what I had read, and then draw conclusions or interpret what I had read. In short, “The Story of an Hour” is about a woman who experiences a multitude of conflicting feelings at the news of her husband’s death due to a tragic train accident. Some of the feelings Mrs. Mallard experiences in this story are grief, exhaustion, fear, joy, and freedom. It is interesting to note that many of Chopin’s literary works represent women who are struggling to be free or to have independence of self. Also noteworthy is the fact that Chopin’s father died in a train accident and Chopin herself “…grew up surrounded by smart, independent, single women” (Wyatt, 1995, para. 2). It is no wonder that she portrays Mrs. Mallard as a strong, independent woman, in spite of her heart trouble....