Importance of Character Development in Short Stories
The anticipation of the audience towards a short story is often based on how strongly and deeply characters are developed. The audience often sympathizes with some characters simply because they can relate to their story. They may also feel disassociated with some characters because of their unpleasant nature. Generally, the audience’s tendency to empathize with the characters in the story, gives them excitement to look forward to the ending. Having that said, character development amplifies the enthusiasm and interest of the audience by providing them access to the characters’ motives and perspectives throughout the story. In the short story “Story of An Hour” Kate Chopin illustrates Ms. Mallard’s emotions unexpectedly shifting, as she immerses herself into the news of her husband passing away. The author’s goal is to let the audience wonder deeply into her experience as her character’s disposition changes throughout the story. Chopin wrote, “She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister's arms. When the storm of grief had spent itself she went away to her room alone. She would have no one follow her.” (Chopin) This illustrates Mrs. Mallard’s grief and despair after hearing the horrendous news. However, she suddenly captures the sense of freedom when Chopin wrote “What could love, the unsolved mystery, count for in the face of this possession of self-assertion which she suddenly recognized as the strongest impulse of her being! ‘Free! Body and soul free!" she kept whispering.” (Chopin). This portrayal of the character’s shift of reaction will raise the audience’s curiosity, engaging them to think critically of her love for her husband. Finally, after the audience eagerly wonders upon what will happen next, Mrs. Mallard’s character experiences a dilemma. She finds out that her husband is still alive; she is, then, taken through a rollercoaster of sentiments finally leading to extreme...
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