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Comparison Of Ripe Figs, The Story Of An Hour, And The Storm By Kate Chopin

1086 words - 4 pages

Comparison of Ripe Figs, The Story of an Hour, and The Storm by Kate Chopin

In the three short works, "Ripe Figs," "The Story of an Hour," and "The Storm," Kate Chopin has woven into each an element of nature over which no one has control. She uses short time spans to heighten impact and bring her stories to quick conclusions. She displays attitudes in her characters in two of her stories which may have been very controversial at the time they were written. "Ripe Figs" is the shorter of the three, covering a summer in a young girl's life. The figs need to ripen before she can visit her cousins. At first the leaves of the fig tree were tender and the figs were "little hard, green marbles" (4). Each time she would slowly walk beneath the leaves, she would go away disappointed. Then one day she saw something that made her "sing and dance the whole day long" (4). The figs were ripe. However when she sat some down before her godmother, the godmother said, "Ah, how early the figs have ripened this year!", but for the girl, they "ripened very late" (4). Kate Chopin's second short story, "The Story of an Hour," takes place in the space of an hour, during which a wife comes to terms with the death of her husband. Upon the news of her husband's death, she wept with "wild abandonment" (12). After "the storm of grief had spent itself" (12), she went to her room alone. There she sat in a "roomy armchair" (12), facing the window. She could see new life in the leaves on the trees and smell a "breath of rain in the air" (12). Also she could hear the sounds of life still going on; "a peddler was crying his wares, and the music of someone singing in the distance reached her, along with the sound of countless sparrows twittering in the eaves" (12). With a "dull stare in her eyes," she fixed her gaze on some blue patches of sky, and felt something "creeping out of the sky, reaching toward her through the sounds, the scents, the color that filled the air" (12-13). As she began to recognize this thing coming to posses her, she tried to "beat it back with her will" (13).

Only she was powerless to do so. Then giving herself over to it, the "vacant stare and look of terror" left her eyes (13). Then she breathed, "Free, free, free!" (13). Her eyes became bright, pulses beat fast, and blood flowed warm causing her body to relax completely. She knew that she would weep again, but she saw beyond the grief toward the years to come, to " spring days and summer days, and all sorts of days" (13), as she drank in the essence of life through the window opened to blue skies. The third story, "The Storm," happens during a storm. Due to the threat of a storm, a young man sought the shelter of a former sweetheart's gallery. She had not seen him very often since her marriage five years earlier to someone else, and then never alone. The driving force of the rain soon compelled them inside. As "the rain beat upon the low shingle roof," he was conscious that...

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