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Story Of An Hour Essay

1341 words - 6 pages

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The Story Of The Hour, by Kate Chopin, is about woman who struggles with oppression brought on by her husband and her secret desire for freedom. Mrs. Mallard doesn’t know how truly unhappy she is until she is told that he has died in train accident. The story is limited to a third-person point of view, but is not short on drama thanks to the structure and style of Chopin’s writing. Her theme of oppression is reveled by the irony of the story, in which she discovers a sense of freedom quickly after her husbands death. Chopin uses symbolism to emphasis this newly found feeling. The main character Mrs. Louise Mallard is a very easy to relate to.
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Mrs. Mallard loses her husband, and shortly after receiving the news she finds her self relieved, She whispers, “Free, free, free!”. (70) You would expect her to be in morning, instead she seams to be uplifted by the idea that she no longer has to cater to her husband’s desires , she can do as she pleases. The author explains it as a “monstrous joy that held her.”(70) There is also irony in the fact that her husband didn’t really die, “He had been far from the scene of the accident, and did not even know there had been one.” (70) When Mr. Mallard walks through there door Mrs. Mallard is so shocked that it cause her already weak heart to stop. The doctors called it “joy that kills.” (70) The sense of irony that is used through out the story is what makes it so entertaining.
One of the major themes of The Story Of An Hour is oppression brought on by marriage. When the story was written, in 1891, women were view as possessions. They were expected to cook, clean, have and care for children, as well as sever their husbands every whim. Women were not a loud to fulfill their own wants and their needs only came second to their husbands. Though it does not seem that that Mrs. Mallard husband was abusive since she describes his hands as kind. (70) Yet she hints that her husband had a powerful presence , which he used to forced his will on her. She says, :“There would be no one to live for during those coming years; she would live for herself. There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women beleve they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature.”, which is one of the ways she suggest he controlled her.(70) She goes on to say that it didn’t matter if he imposed his will for her benefit or not , “A kind intention or a cruel intention made the act seem no less a crime as she looked upon it in that brief moment of illumination.” (70) She repeats the word “free” suggesting that, she is free from oppression when her husband died. (70)
Chopin uses many different symbolic messages through out the story, many of which are in reference to the freedom Mrs. Mallard feels after find out about the death of her husband. “...the trees that was all aquiver with the new spring life.” This sentence took on new meaning after finishing the story, I believe the trees are symbolic of how Mrs. Mallard felt, she went from hopeless to feeling as if the world was her to explore . Like the tree part of her had died when she was married but now that her husband is dead she is once again full of life. Another symbol that us used to...

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