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LiteraryAnalysis “ Thestory of an Hour“
‘Thestory of an Hour’is a short story that was written by Kate Chopin in April, 1894.Initially, the story was published under the title, TheDream of an Hour.However, in 1895, the story was reprinted under its commonly knownname ‘TheStory of An Hour’.The author greatly used different literal devices to deliver histheme as well as to keep the readers wanting to read more and moreabout her book, and stories (Chopinnd).The story of an hour together with another story titled the storm,were among Chopin’s famous stories that elevated her into the worldof writing, and people recognized her talents. In a nutshell, thestory of an hour depicts Chopin’s idea over the exploitive roleplayed by marriage in women’s lives (Deneau210).This paper will address literal analysis of Chopin’s story, ‘ thestory of an hour’ reflecting on literal devices used by the author,and more importantly focusing on the irony, language/tone is used todeliver the authors intended themes.
Thesisstatement: awoman should be allowed to have her own and unique identity,different from that of her husband as well as be allowed to haveidentifyand experience her own interests.
Inthe short story, by Kate Chopin, ‘Thestory of an hour’Louise Mallard, who is the main character in the short storyexperiences different emotions when she learns about her husband’sBrently death (which wasn’t the case) through a railroad accident.Mallard suffers from different conditions such as heart problems andin turn, it takes her sister to break the devastating news of herhusband’s death to her in a gentle way. After receiving the badnews, Mrs. Mallard locked herself, but instead of the morning shebegins to feel a sense of delight. She found some benefit from herhusband’s death as she calls it free body and soul (Chopinnd).This joy is short-lived as she comes to meet her husband at thedoorway alive, this causes her shock which is too much for her, andlater kills herself.
Oneof the aspects that have made the story to be positively appreciatedby people is the excellent use of literary devices by the author.Different literal devices have been deployed by the author in anattempt to deliver the intended theme as well as to make the readerenjoy the story. The author has masterfully utilized diverse literarydevices to illustrate the plight of Mrs. Mallard as she learns thedeath of her husband which never was, hence going through theemotions. Some of the used devices include irony, language,character, imagery and symbolism among others (Chopinnd).
Relationshipbetween Setting and Tone
Astory setting explains the environment in which the story takes placeand can take the form of exact time and place. With reference to thestory of an hour by Kate Chopin the setting of the short story issomewhat limited to reflect on expressing the feeling of Mrs.Mallard. The story takes space in her house, with a lot of the actionoccurring in her house/room. The main focus of the story is occurringin her house as well as what she can see through the window in herroom. Setting outside the rooms is only through Mrs. Mallardimagination. In terms of time, the story is set in around late 19thcentury at the home of Louise mallard. On the other hand, tone isused to denote how the writer expresses an attitude through writing.With reference to the Chopin’s story the tone can be termed asironical, Mallard is seen happy and jovial at the demise of herhusband, only for her emotions to change when she learns otherwise.It can be summarized as bittersweet, and also uplifting that isexplained through the ironical descriptions. The story setting andtone are related to bring out the effective ironical unfolding of theevents in the story.
Applicationof Irony in Exposing Character Traits
Inthe story ‘the story of an hour’ irony has been greatly used toconnect the characters, and the theme as well as development of theplot. One of the applications of irony by the author is exposing thecharacter traits. With reference to the story, ‘the story of anhour, there is both situational and dramatic irony which is used toshow how Mrs. Mallard is weak hearted (Chopinnd).She is also violent, which she exposes when she is emotional. Much ofthe irony revolves around the main character who is the Mrs. Mallardand much of the traits are exposed on the other side, the use ofirony in the story exposes the traits of Mr. Mallard as oppressive tohis wife, who was in a jovial mood after learning of his demise.
HowTone is used to Express Theme
Oneof the major themes in the short story is the effect of gainingfreedom ‘there was something coming to her, and she was waiting forit fearfully”. The ironic tone that is set by the story clearlydepicts the freedom coming to the main character. When she receivesthe news of her husbands, death, she says she will mourn him justlike other women would do, but she smells some new sense of freedomfrom the demise of her husband (Chopinnd).To Mrs. Mallard, she appears to be restricted freedom in differentways’ such as her marriage, ailing heart, and she can’t wait tohave the freedom associated with her husband’s death. Another themeof the story is the power of death or the mortality theme. Death inthe story is so powerful and news about it should be told in aspecific ways or can be lethal. Despite the death being lethal, itcauses some sense of relief to Mrs. Mallard.
Mrs.Mallard Relationship to the Large Society
Withreference to the story by Chopin, the relationship between Mrs.Mallard and the society is found as wanting. The society is concernedabout her, especially due to her heart condition. She is friendly tothe people surrounding her, who are in turn concerned with her wellbeing. Her husband’s friend takes it an initiative to inform herabout the demise of her husband. However, her relationship with herhusband is not as good as it was ought to be, this is realized whenshe is in a jovial mood when she learns about her husband’s demise,as she sees it as a new dawn of freedom. In conclusion, a woman’sfreedom is essential to the story, it’s clear that Mrs. mallard wasnot enjoying the much she would have liked as she was sick, herhusband was oppressive. This explains why she is happy when herhusband dies, but ironically, she is the one who dies after realizingher husband is still alive.
Chopin,Kate. TheStory of an Hour: Short Story.Toronto, Ontario: HarperPerennial Classics, 2014. Internet resource.
Deneau,Daniel P. "Chopin`s the Story of an Hour." Explicator 61.4(2003): 210-213. AcademicSearch Premier.Web. 21 Apr. 2015.