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Symbolism In “The Story Of An Hour”

666 words - 3 pages

The symbols and imagery used by Kate Chopin's in “The Story of an Hour” give the reader a sense of Mrs. Mallard’s new life appearing before her through her view of an “open window” (para. 4). Louise Mallard experiences what most individuals long for throughout their lives; freedom and happiness. By spending an hour in a “comfortable, roomy armchair” (para.4) in front of an open window, she undergoes a transformation that makes her understand the importance of her freedom. The author's use of Spring time imagery also creates a sense of renewal that captures the author's idea that Mrs. Mallard was set free after the news of her husband's death.
Right from the moment Louise Mallard hears of her husband's death, Kate Chopin dives into a her vivid use of imagery. “When the storm of grief has spent itself” introduces a weather oriented theme (para.3). This imagery depicts a violent and dark setting that denotes death and grief. Her reaction to her husband's death ideally what society would expect. Her acute reaction instantly shows that she is an emotional, demonstrative woman. Even though she stops crying, Louise Mallard is not indifferent and knows that she would weep again when she sees her husband's corpse.
Immediately after the news of her husband's death, Mrs. Mallard races upstairs into her room where she settles into “a comfortable, roomy armchair” (para.4). The armchair symbolizes the rest from the oppressive life she had and freedom from society's expectations. Since it was tradition for women to be married by a certain age, Louise Mallard must have obligated to marry Brently. Sitting in the armchair, she gazes out of the window and starts indulges in deep thought, which establishes her as an intelligent individual.
The open window from which Louise gazes is symbolic for her freedom and the good fortune that she is now presented with. Her attention to the blue sky, fluffy clouds, tree tops and the delicious breath of rain denote her newly found inner well-being. The...

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