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Joy Of Marriage Kate Chopin's The Story Of An Hour

1005 words - 4 pages

In the short story " The story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin, she writes about the impact of being in the social institution of marriage. The author masterfully describes the Protagonist, imagery and irony that captures the readers' attention, and emotions of grief, hope, and joy. As author Kate Chopin brings our attention to these exquisite feelings, she addresses the conflicts one might face as they join into the joys of marriage.

The short story opens with the news of the death of Mrs. Mallard's husband. Her sister Josephine was careful to tell her sister of the tragic loss of her brother-in-law, since her sister was "afflicted by heart trouble." Upon the first reading of this sentence, readers might infer that Mrs. Mallard suffered from a broken heart and may have even dabbled in extra martial activities, or she may have suffered from a previous heart attack. It is unclear to the reader whether this outburst that Mrs. Mallard experiences is due to grief or joy. Only after reading further into the short story would one understand the importance of Josephine kneeling at the bedroom door requesting admission (paragraph 16). Kate Chopin skillfully places these words at the opening of her story to allow readers to envision Mrs. Mallard as frail. She later goes own to show Mrs. Mallard as being frail from the mental anguished she encountered in her marriage.

In our ever-changing society, there are more and more non-traditional families, women are more liberated than previous years and some opt to be single. As Mrs. Mallard retreats to the security of her bedroom to reflect and grieve about her loss, she notices all the rejuvenation of spring out her window. Kate Chopin uses Mrs. Mallard senses to cleverly describe the new life that Mrs. Mallard now will experience. Even though the somber feelings of death are mainly reflected more elegantly in the fall or winter months, the author uses the spring to contrast the death of the husband with the life that spring brings. As Mrs. Mallard sees the trees, taste the rain, and hears "the notes of a distant song," she revels in the thoughts of her new life. Mrs. Mallard was young, and her face showed the repression of allowing someone to impose himself or herself on her life. As she gazed off into the yonder, she finally realized or accepted intelligently that she was not going to be FREE!

Upon accepting her husbands' death, and coming to terms that she could now live for herself, Mrs. Mallard is then given an identity other than being Mr. Mallards' wife, now becoming Louise Mallard. This shift in the protagonists' identity plays an important and vital role in the imagery used to describe how one person in a marriage, usually the wife, is totally absorbed into their husbands' identity. In paragraph 14 she reminisces on how trapped she felt in the marriage. She looked upon the imposition that she felt from her husband, herself, and questioned what laid...

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