The story of an hour is a story about how life can change in the span of one hour. It’s also a story about how we sometimes fail to appreciate what we have and focus on what we don’t. This story tells us that some events are just too powerful for us to understand, and they force us into new directions that we might not otherwise choose. The story is told from the point of view of Mrs. Mallard, but it could be anyone telling this story- any person who has ever experienced such an event in their own life.
The main structural components used in the narrative of an hour by Kate Chopin are classic. The announcement about Brently Mallard’s death is the exposition. The problem is how his wife responds to the situation and how she begins to feel liberated and joyful, despite her obligation to be sad. The resolution of the tale is Brently Mallard’s return home, followed by Mrs. Mallard crying out because of a heart attack. There is no falling action in this story since the conclusion comes quickly – Mrs. Mallard dies as a result of a heart attack due to sudden illness
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In the story, the third person limited omniscient point of view is used. The story-teller is not a participant in the events and is aware of Mrs. Mallard’s thoughts. It should be noted that as a result of this, the viewpoint through the narrative changes. “She wept at once, with sudden wild abandon while her sister held her” (Chopin, 2006, p. 352) when told that her husband had been killed in an accident. As she approached her bedroom, her sentiments and attitude to the husband’s death altered as she murmured “free, free, free!” (Chopin, 2006, p. 353). As a result of this deep sorrow, an inner sensation of gratification and pleasure for the liberated future has emerged.
Follow the story as I was reading it, and you’ll see how Mrs. Mallard’s response changed my view of her marriage and her husband after switching points of view. These fluctuations demonstrated to me that when I thought she loved her spouse and was distressed owing to his death, the first impression was incorrect. The point of view changes are intimately related to the narrative’s topic and content, just as they may be used to anticipate that Mrs. Mallard died because she did not feel so ecstatic about seeing her husband but rather because she realized that her aspirations for freedom were dashed.
The perspective of the story, poem, or diary entry one wishes to create from is known as a viewpoint. In “Story of an Hour”, the perspective is that of a lady named Mrs. Mallard who has been dealing with heart issues for most of her life. The ability to write in a third person point of view when writing about the main character is an incredible talent that Kate Chopin gained throughout her years of writing.
In this short story, Chopin explores Mrs. Mallard’s thoughts, who has been informed of a train accident that has killed her spouse Brentley Mallard. This viewpoint depicts the deep intensity of feeling in each character, giving the reader a solid knowledge of how Mrs. Mallard is misunderstood and avoids everyone around her, including her husband.
Third-person narration not only showed the emotions stirring in the house, but also depicted each character’s emotions and how they responded to the situation of having to inform Mrs. Mallard about her husband’s death without causing any of her heart problems. When she was initially informed that her new life had been crushed by the news of her husband’s complete safety being endangered, she began suffering from heart problems.
In “The Story of an Hour,” the narrator is a third person perspective that provides all of the significant elements of the tale in order to assist readers comprehend and comprehend the surprising twist.
Chopin uses an omniscient third-person narrator to tell a complete tale that isn’t limited to the protagonist’s perspective. This is crucial since we readers already know something Mrs. Mallard doesn’t at the start of the tale, and since the story ends with Mrs. Mallard having already passed away. Were Mrs. Mallard telling the tale in first person, readers would be exposed to a distinct explanation for her weak heart, which would conclude the narrative considerably sooner – and rather than tragically as it does in this version of events.
The use of a third-person omniscient narrative voice also humanizes Mrs. Mallard and makes her more sympathetic. The narrator appears to be excusing or at least justifying her actions and thought process, implying that she has a good reason for doing so. Consider the following passage, in which the narrator explains how Mrs. Mallard shrinks from the approach of freedom:
There was something coming to her and she was waiting for it, fearfully. What was it? She did not know; it was too subtle and elusive to name. But she felt it, creeping out of the sky, reaching toward her through the sounds, the scents, the color that filled the air. (9)
This serves to absolve Mrs. Mallard of responsibility for having such emotions – they pursue her down. She’s unable to fight them off; she’s passive and helpless. Mrs. Mallard is on the verge of thinking something complicated and unpleasant – the short version of which is that she’s relieved her husband has died so that she can be free.
At the start, she’s scared of being free, but by the end, she’s enthusiastic about it. If we were told this in first person, we’d think Mrs. Mallard was self-centered or that she didn’t love her husband. According to the narrator, though, it appears like Mrs. Mallard is powerless against humanity’s greater burden of truths.
“The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin is fascinating for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being the emotional transformation that Louise Mallard undergoes during the hour after her husband’s death. The use of irony in this narrative will also be discussed. We’ll look at the summary, story, setting, tone, theme, point of view, and emotions of Louise Mallard and other characters involved in the tale during this analysis.
Chopin’s tale focuses on the sentiments of a married woman in the late 1890s and feminine gender roles, to assist the reader better comprehend married life for women at that time. Louise Mallard is a young woman with a heart condition who has just learned of her husband’s death. She is sad at first, but soon starts to feel wonderful; she feels liberated despite not recognizing it for long.
“She knew that when she saw the kind, gentle hands folded in death, she would begin to weep again; the face that had never looked at her save with love on it, dulled and gray” (Chopin 2). “Even so , she had loved him – at times. She was not always unavailable” (Chopin 2). Kate Chopin employs nature metaphors, irony, and tragedy to convey the motif of marriage as a sacred institution for women.
Men were given power over all assets and children if they divorced in the 1800s, according to historian Robert L. Hicks (1). The narrator of Chopin’s short story employs a non-participant technique to tell the tale in third person point of view with limited omniscience. Whether or not you sympathize more with the narrator who uses first person depends on the tale.
“The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin is a short story from the late 1800s about a young woman who reacts to news that her husband, at the top of the list, had perished in a railway accident. Due to this terrible tragedy, she is given the chance of freedom and Chopin’s narrative depicts that hour.
This short story follows the tale of a man who goes to work in an attempt to make ends meet. The main theme, according to one might infer from the phrase “carpe diem,” is seizing the day. Oppression and repression were two of the themes addressed in this brief narrative. Mrs. Mallard’s husband was seemingly in command of her, according to Jamil, who said that a woman “is not compelled to engage in self-assertion” (216).
She goes on to say, “The patriarchy of the era forced women to be totally reliant upon their husbands, making marriage a sort of slavery,” (Jamil, 217). Mrs. Mallard also seems to have been one who was not striving to dominate her destiny. She may have experienced continuous stress throughout her marriage with Mr. Mallard, which might have caused heart problems that are referred to in the opening phrase of the tale.
“The loss of respect for womanhood is a long-term problem,” Jamil explains. “As Chopin indicates, Mrs. Mallard’s heart affliction isn’t just a bodily sickness as the other characters in the tale believe; it’s also a indication of a female who has surrendered her heart to paternalism unconsciously,” he continues (216). Symbols, irony, similes and personification were some of the basic literary terms that may have caught your attention.
The phrase “significance” appears a lot in this brief tale, since most of the descriptive paragraphs may be labeled as symbols. In paragraph five, Kate Chopin writes, “She could see in the open square before her home the tips of trees that were all aglow with new spring life. The delicious breath of rain was in the air… and thousandsof sparrows were twittering in the eaves,” (Chopin, 1). On page 217, Jamil stated:
“Dreams are its expression, and through them she is able to express herself; it gives her power over reality.” (Chopin, 1) “These things bring joy and hope to her, which stirs Louise’s attention: She felt it creeping out of the sky reaching for towards her through the sounds, odors, and color that filled the air.” (1) The vision or perception of freedom that emerges from nature is what she calls “it,” meaning emotion. Her sensitivity, reactivity, and awareness are all represented by emotion’s presence.
In this paragraph, we learn that the events in question took place in the spring. Mrs. Mallard believes she is about to enter a brand-new and thrilling existence. Katie Chopin says “There were spots of blue sky showing here and there between the clouds that had piled one on top of the other in her west-facing window.” (Chopin, 1) That passage in paragraph 6 indicates that there were patches of blue sky; maybe it was death wished upon her, and somehow her life changed instantly.
In this little story, there were also similes. The phrase “there was a….of victory” is one example of a paragraph that clearly states a simile (Chopin, 2). Jamil says, “As she understands that she may ‘live for herself’ rather than live the life her spouse has authorized for her, Louise breaks the shackles of the patriarchal culture” (219). This passage explains how she overcame the sadness after learning her husband had died. Because it is such an effective picture of a lady recognizing that she has power over her own destiny, Chopin most likely utilized it.
Irony was another literary term that featured in the tale. The story’s title, “The Story of an Hour,” is a case in point. This may be amusing to someone because, simply by the name being mentioned, the event must have occurred within an hour, but Kate Chopin made it seem like it went on for a few days. This is ironic since Mrs. Mallard only required an hour to realize that she did not require her husband any longer in order to be happy and live happily ever after. However, it might take a different wife several years to fully recover from a spouse’s death.
The basic ironies in this short fiction include the following: In the final paragraph, Katie Chopin claims ” -joy that destroys” (Chopin, 2). Jamil says of Louise, “Louise is the joy she refuses to give up when Brently returns. But for one climactic hour of her life, Louise really experiences happiness.” (220) This is an ironic statement at the conclusion of the narrative due to doctors’ opinions that Mrs. Mallard was overjoyed to see her husband alive and intact. The conclusion was quite ironic, given the outcome of Mrs. Mallard’s story. The tale was all a rising action until you reach her death at the end of it. Even when she saw her husband alive, there was not much worth living for to Mrs. Mallard, according to the author.
The conclusion is foreshadowed in the opening sentence of the short story. The beginning of the short tale reads, “Knowing that Mrs. Mallard was suffering from a heart illness, great care was taken to break the news to her as gently as possible about her husband’s death” (Chopin, 1). It gives one the impression that the outcome of the narrative has something to do with Mrs. Mallard’s heart condition. The ending also appears more realistic as a result of this early reference to her ailment. The ending would be unbelievable and phony if there were no prior mention of her heart condition.
Mrs. Mallard’s heart ailment plays a significant role in the story. The reader may have learned that Mrs. Mallard’s heart disease was caused by stress brought on by her disadvantaged position in a male-dominated society, as the story begins. For example, Chopin writes in paragraph eight that the young woman’s expression “expressed repression” (Chopin, 1); and in paragraph fourteen , we are informed of a “powerful will” that was “bending” Mrs. Mallard (Chopin, 2). Finally, Chopin says: “She had not frequently loved him,” at the end of paragraph fifteen (Chopin, 2).
“When she sees her husband, Louisa appears to know in an instant that if her spouse, as a proponent of patriarchal culture, would never allow for a woman’s self-discovery or allow for her to recover from her progress and once take up the confinement of her former life. ” (219-220) Would you think she was struck by a heart attack or believe it was because of the pressure of being married?
Also, why did the author wait so long to reveal the protagonist’s first name? The reader learns Louise’s first name only in paragraph sixteen of the short story. The reader may infer that the writer withheld her name because she was lacking in individuality and self-assurance. When she was alone in her bedroom grieving over her husband, she reclaimed her own identity.
“At that hour, then, Louise perceives and creates a new personality for herself with the newly awakened faculty of emotions (219). Now is when Josephine, her sister, shouts out, “Louise, open the door!” Mrs. Mallard may have altered her identity; nevertheless, she still has a portion of a male identity since Louis is the feminine version of Louis.
In conclusion, one may believe that Chopin intended to deliver a strong message by composing this little tale. The short story’s message, “Live life to the utmost while you can,” is considered an excellent reminder. Mrs. Mallard appeared to be living under constraints that irritated her, but she did nothing about it, which leads people to believe that there are limitations in life that need overcoming.
Mrs. Mallard was ignorant of the fact that having freedom and developing her own personality is not something to be taken for granted. “For one hour of emotion, Louise sees significance and satisfaction” (220) claims Jamil. To assist the reader understand and explain the message of this tale, Chopin utilized literary terms such as symbolism, similes, and irony.