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The Story Of The Hour Essay

1378 words - 6 pages


The Story Of The Hour, by Kate Chopin, is about woman who struggles with oppression brought on by her husband and her secret desire for freedom. Mrs. Mallard doesn’t know how truly unhappy she is until she is told that he has died in train accident. The story is limited to a third-person point of view, but is not short on drama thanks to the structure and style of Chopin’s writing. Her theme of oppression is reveled by the irony of the story, in which she discovers a sense of freedom quickly after her husbands death. Chopin uses symbolism to emphasis this newly found feeling. The main character Mrs. Louise Mallard is a very easy to relate to.
The structure and style that Chopin uses in The Story Of The Hour, is used to exaggerate the drama of what is taking place. She uses very short paragraphs the majority being only two to or three sentences a piece. The story is about the hour after Louise find out her husband is dead. It bring us quickly from a state of morning to a place where she realizes that she is “free” from the bondage of her husband. The structure of the story is reflects the intensity of emotions she exhibits. The length of the story leaves no room for a drawn out exposition, we shoot quickly from the that to the climax and end just as quickly after that. There is a lot of repetition through out the story, which she uses to emphasize the importance of certain points she makes. The word “open” is repeatedly used through out the story, “open window”(69) , “open square”(69). “opened and spread her arms out”(69) and many more. She also repeats the word “free”, "Free! Body and soul
free!" (69). She also repeats phrases such as “might be long” like when she says “She breathed a quick prayer that life might be long. It was only yesterday she had thought with a shudder that life might be long.” (69)
What makes The story of the hour such compelling short story is Chopin’s use of irony. Mrs. Mallard loses her husband, and shortly after receiving the news she finds her self relieved, She whispers, “Free, free, free!”. (70) You would expect her to be in morning, instead she seams to be uplifted by the idea that she no longer has to cater to her husband’s desires , she can do as she pleases. The author explains it as a “monstrous joy that held her.”(70) There is also irony in the fact that her husband didn’t really die, “He had been far from the scene of the accident, and did not even know there had been one.” (70) When Mr. Mallard walks through there door Mrs. Mallard is so shocked that it cause her already weak heart to stop. The doctors called it “joy that kills.” (70) The sense of irony that is used through out the story is what makes it so entertaining.
One of the major themes of The Story Of An Hour is oppression brought on by marriage. When the story was written, in 1891, women were view as possessions. They were expected to cook, clean, have and care for children, as well as sever their husbands...

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