Literary Analysis Of Kate Chopin's The Story Of An Hour

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Literary Analysis “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin introduces us to Mrs. Mallard as she reacts to the sudden death of her husband. Chopin describes Mrs. Mallard’s emotions as sad, yet happy that her husband has been killed. Kate Chopin’s “ The Story of an Hour” argues that when a person is controlled and made to live under another person their mental state of mind is affected. The story also argues that when that person is freed from the controlling person their true self can finally be achieved. Kate Chopin portrays these themes by the use of character development; plot control, and irony throughout the story. The plot of the story takes place in Mrs. Mallards mind. This gives us the advantage of knowing what’s going on in her brain,…show more content…
Chopin also describes Mrs. Mallard as “young, with a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression and even a certain strength”. At the beginning Mrs. Mallard is thought of as being controlled, and weak. In the 19th Century, when this story was written, husbands controlled their wives. Perhaps Mrs. Mallard wasn’t like most women of her time. After she hears of her husband’s death she morns for what feels like only a moment. Mrs. Mallard goes to her room, and looks out into the patchy blue sky. Chopin uses the patchy blue sky to create an image of darkness clearing out of Mrs. Mallard’s life. When reading the story, a sense of relief comes to mind as Mrs. Mallard thinks of her life ahead without Mr. Mallard. This is when Mrs. Mallard’s character finally starts thinking for herself. She no longer has Mr. Mallard to hold her back. Another case of character development is Mr. Mallard’s character. Critics have described Mr. Mallard as being abusive, and harmful to his wife. In the story Chopin writes, “ she will weep again when she saw the kind, tender hands folded in death...” (Chopin) This quote is an example that Mr. Mallard was not abusive or unkind to Mrs. Mallard. One…show more content…
From the very beginning irony is used. Jenifer Hicks brings out the point of irony when she quotes that Mrs. Mallard “would have no one follow her to her room”. Mrs. Mallard might have also meant that she would have no one interfere with how she lives her life again (Hicks). Another source of Irony is at the beginning when Mrs. Mallard’s sister thinks she is deeply saddened by Mr. Mallard’s death. “Josephine was kneeling before the closed door with her lips to the keyhole, imploring for admission. ‘Louise, open the door! I beg; open the door—you will make yourself ill.’ said Louis”(Chopin). It is ironic that Josephine is so worried about Mrs. Mallard when in reality she is in her room dreaming of how her new life will be. The short story is rather entertaining because you have to think past what the author writes, and create for yourself your own depiction of what the meaning is. One example is when Mrs. Mallard says, “free, free, free!” (Chopin). The reader would expect Mrs. Mallard to be upset at the loss of her husband, but in fact, she is actually feeling relief from it. Mrs. Mallard is happy because she is now free from living under her husband. Another example of Kate Chopin’s usage of irony is at the end when its said, “ they said she died of heart disease- of joy that kills” in a since they are right. The last hour Mrs. Mallard has spent she has experienced great joy; thinking of her new life, but
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