A Rebirth and a Death in Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour"

Topics: Woman, Narrative, Fiction Pages: 4 (1342 words) Published: June 6, 2005
Kernel's and Satellites
Kate Chopin's story, "The Story of an Hour" is an ironic short story of a wife in the late 1800's. The story is only a few pages long and in doing so Chopin writes a story filled with kernel's (events that have important causal chronological coherence) with very few satellite's (events not logically essential to the narrative action). There were no satellites that I could find while reading the text; I found every word written essential to the narrative, the progression and the conclusion of the story.

Freytag's Pyramid and Function's
Upon examining Freytag's pyramid, I can see that the narrative does follow this diagrammatic representation of the story structure. From the inciting moment (Mrs. Mallard's heart trouble, and Mr. Mallards "death") to the climax (Mrs. Mallards becoming of a free independent person) to the catastrophe (Mrs. Mallard's death) we can follow Freytag's design. The most interesting element to the story, following Freytag's pyramid, is the reversal; Chopin surprises us in Mrs. Mallard's reaction to her husband's death. The reversal is Mrs. Mallard's joyful acceptance of his death, her realization of freedom; the narrative twists the story to the exact opposite of what the reader was expecting. The reversal of the readers expectation is a much more effective way for Chopin to express her message. The element in the reversal also has the role of a function (an act defined by its significance for the course of action in which it appears). A death would usually be thought of as a tragedy, but once we start to gain insight on Mrs. Mallard's character we can see why she responds with the opposite reaction. Another function within the story is the "joy that kills" it makes sense in this story, but in most you would see an immense joy at Mr. Mallard's return, these circumstances would not often see a wife dying from, what I assume is, a miserable shock.

Acts and Happenings
Once examining the story I found an...
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