Elements Of Fiction Essay

807 words - 4 pages

Symbols are items in a story that are chosen by the author to represent something more than just what it is at face value. Symbols help to convey an underlying meaning beneath the actual item itself. In Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” a few symbols are used. Kate Chopin uses the symbols of death to represent a new beginning and life, an “open window” (Chopin 57) to represent realization and freedom, and life to represent the end and death to show a woman’s short time of independence.
To begin, death is a powerful symbol within the story. The first thing it represents is a new beginning. The death of a loved one is always painful. It is possible for such an event to bring a grinding ...view middle of the document...

Mallard was also “waiting for it” (57). This entity that slowly crept its way inside Mrs. Mallard was her own realization; it was the realization that she was no longer subject to her previous position. The “open window” (57) poured this knowledge upon her, which led to something else. Mrs. Mallard’s freedom was also represented by the symbol of the “open window”. Mrs. Mallard now knows that she is free as the “word escaped her slightly parted lips” (57). The prison of marriage was no longer there. She had escaped. Mrs. Mallard chants that she is “Free, free, free!’ (57). Through the “open window” (57) she could see as far as the eye allowed; no longer was her vision halted by four walls. There was nothing that she couldn’t do.
Though death was a powerful symbol in the story, so was life. Life represents the end, at least for Mrs. Mallard. It was an end to her freedom. Brently Mallard entered his home as his wife had started to triumphantly walk down the stairs. Brently Mallard had “been far from the scene of accident” (58). His life ensured that Mrs. Mallard’s freedom had been put to an end so soon after it began. His life not only brought about...

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