Story Of An Hour Literary Analysis

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There are several ways to interpret and analyze this short story and apply each of the four styles of criticism. Strong feminist themes appear throughout, but the other themes of mortality, the need for a sense of self and a yearning for freedom have their roles in examining the formalist aspect. Like any effective tragedy, this story is bitter- sweet and can bring a character to the greatest heights before fate takes it away and brings that person down to the lowest point. Chopin’s life and the culture around her had a definite influence on her writing, using the philosophies created by the naturalist movement to portray what would be the last hour of a young, frail woman’s life.
Naturalism is a style of literature based on chaos and believes that nature is an uncaring and indifferent force that is beyond the characters control and works against them as they fight their fates. Unlike its counterparts such as Romanticism, this style used principles based on scientific method instead of idealism to portray themes of survival and determination. These authors focused on taboos and the dark side of human behavior or as
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While the other characters tread lightly because they knew “that Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble” (Chopin 352), Louise lets herself become overwhelmed with emotion despite this. We also come to know and understand her true nature and desires through this struggle, in her guilt for not feeling guilty enough about her husband’s supposed death and the joy in the freedom of suddenly becoming a widow. This mentality considering the time period of the story would seem unrealistic and foolish. Either way, Chopin destroys any romantic nature about marriage as she “implicitly questions the institution of marriage, perhaps as a by-product or her scientific questioning of mores, but she does so in a cleverly tempered way”
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