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An overlook of the short story “The story of an hour” by Kate Chopin indicates that Mrs. Mallard was lacking the fullness of her life. Chopin uses literary devices to help the leader come to terms with the situation having been narrated.
The story starts by showing the health condition of Mrs. Mallard having a heart complication, and how the sister Josephine and the husband’s friend Richard found it difficult to break the news of the demise of her husband. Mrs. Mallard immediately started to weep over her husband after her sister Josephine took the responsibility of informing her about the husband’s death. The story shows that Mrs. Mallard’s character had a poor passion for her dead husband. In addition to it, she possessed the urge of being self-governing that could be seen trough the statement “she did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept it’s significant” (Chopin 547).
Symbolism is used by Kate Chopin in the majority of paragraphs to represent an implicit meaning and inner understanding. The implication of sorrow and death wishes are well elaborated in the story through the author’s statement that “There were patches of the blue sky……in the west facing her window” (Chopin 547-548). In paragraph 8, the narrator indicates Mrs. Mallard as a “young with a fair…….” and has a “two white slender hands” (Chopin 547-548).
It is a symbolic feature to specify that the main heroine is a gentle, tranquil, and composed lady. The author also states that “There was something coming to her and she was waiting for it, fearfully” (Chopin 547-548). The use of the word “something” illustrates a symbol of rebellion from permitting the death of the husband to succeed in her calm-faced identity and control since she felt relieved from the husband’s rules and regulations.
In paragraph 7, metaphors are also applied, which can be found in the phrase “except when a sob………sleep continue to sobs in dreams” (Chopin 547). Herewith, the author compares a child who cries while sleeping to Mrs. Mallard locking herself in a room alone to sob in order to separate herself from the others. The phrase also shows the behavior of a kid after being cautioned.
Paragraph 8 explicitly expresses the personification of Mrs. Mallard: “She was young with a fair….. strength” (Chopin 548) as well as illustrates her uncertain change from a repressed individual to a person in grief over her husband, who kept her restrained from beyond.
Chopin incorporates similes in her work stating, “There was ….unwittingly like a goddess of victory” (Chopin 548) providing a very powerful, bold, and vicious representation of a woman who had overcome all the sorrow and grief over the loved husband.
The story title “The story of one hour” is ironic in nature. At first glance, the title implies that the story occurred within an hour, however, Chopin ironically increased the time span and made it occur within several days. The ironic part is that usually, the death of a spouse takes months or even years to get over it, but in Mrs. Millard’s case, it took her about an hour to control herself. Mrs. Willard’s death is also ironic in the sense that Chopin illustrates the need for Mrs. Willard to live in the story but at the tail end, the heroine had nothing more worth living for without her husband.
Thus, the story contains a message of appreciation of life a person lives and the need to perfect it while alive. This is clearly shown by Mrs. Millard’s life who did not realize that freedom and individual identity had been an important aspect of life until her end.
Chopin, Kate. The Story of an Hour, Vogue, United States, 1894. Print.