Literary Analysis Essay On Story Of An Hour

(◄Return to Full Plot Summary of “Story of an Hour”)

“The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin represents a negative view of marriage by presenting the reader with a woman who is clearly overjoyed that her husband has died. This is expressed through the language in “The Story of an Hour” (click for full plot summary) by Kate Chopin used to describe Louise’s emotions as she oscillates between numbness and extreme joy at her newfound freedom. The narrator of “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin relates what she observes in simple prose, but when her emotions are described, the words are vibrant and powerful. This suggests that Louis has a deep inner-life that is not connected to the outside world of her husband or friends and the fact that she cloisters herself in her room to discover her feelings is important. The world outside of her own bedroom is only minimally described, but the world inside of her mind is lively and well described by the narrator. The window outside of her room is alive and vibrant like her mind, while everything about her physically is cloistered.

While the mere use of certain words is indicative of this inner-world of detail and life, there are also several instances of ironic or playful uses of certain phrases or images to convey Louise’s happiness in “The Story of an Hour” and the ultimate message that marriage is constraining. In many ways, the fact that she dies at the end of simple “heart disease" (which the doctors think cam about as a result of her joy of seeing her husband) is symbolic of the “disease" of marriage. Much like an affliction, she cannot feel free unless the agent, her husband, is no longer present. The fact that it affects her heart as opposed to any other portion of her body shows that her misery from this symbolic disease stems from something inside of her, not anything external. For instance, in one of the important quotes

Kate Chopin "The Story of an Hour" Critical Analysis Essay

1377 WordsDec 17th, 20126 Pages

Brandon Dabon
Professor Mario Garcia
English M01A
11 October 2012
Self-Identity, Freedom, and Death in Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” The story of an hour by Kate Chopin introduces us to Mrs. Mallard as she reacts to her husband’s death. In this short story, Chopin portrays the complexity of Mrs. Mallard’s emotions as she is saddened yet joyful of her loss. Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” argues that an individual discover their self-identity only after being freed from confinement. The story also argues that freedom is a very powerful force that affects mental or emotional state of a person. The story finally argues that only through death can one be finally freed. Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” argues…show more content…

Based on the insights on Mrs. Mallard’s discovery of her self-identity, we can conclude that people who have been confined for too long are robbed of their self-hood. The restraining of one’s self-hood can be defined by whomever or whatever is binding their will. It is also evident that one can only achieve their true self when they are released from confinement. Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” also argues that freedom is a very powerful force that affects the mental or emotional state of a person. The mental and emotional state Mrs. Mallard had experienced had been a peculiar one. The sense of freedom came to her as an unfamiliar feeling that perhaps she had long forgotten as she was deprived of it for a long time. The strangeness of what she was feeling made her think that there was “something coming to her […] creeping out of the sky, reaching toward her” (Chopin 281) implying a confused mental state. This unfamiliar feeling of joy she is experiencing could be only one thing, the ecstasy of being free. It had been playing with her mind. The overpowering thoughts of freedom are so peculiar to her that she doesn’t recognize it and she doesn’t know how to emotionally react to it. Through this unfamiliarity her mental state went rampant with fear thinking that it is a force of horror that was out to harm her. After a moment of resenting this feeling, Mrs. Mallard finally abandons her fight to “beat it back” (Chopin

Show More


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *