AllBestEssays.com - All Best Essays, Term Papers and Book Report
Search

External and Internal Focalisation on in "the Story of an Hour"

Essay by   •  December 9, 2011  •  Essay  •  395 Words (2 Pages)  •  6,028 Views

Essay Preview: External and Internal Focalisation on in "the Story of an Hour"

Report this essay
Page 1 of 2

External and internal focalization in "The Story of an Hour"

The alternation between external and internal focalization in "The Story of an Hour" is quite interesting. What does the author want to emphasize using these different focalizations?

Before starting, the term external and internal focalization must be clarified. The external focalization occurs when the narrator presents an aspect of the story (a character or an event) by using external and visible information. The reader discovers things as if he was present in the story. The opposite is the internal focalization. It allows the reader to have a character's point of view and perspective with all his/her feelings and thoughts. With this focalization, things are discovered as if we are in the character's body.

In "The Story of an Hour", when Louise learns her husband's death, her first reactions are related in the external focalization form. The reader could imagine himself as a witness of the scene. We are only told about her physical reactions:

"She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister's arms. When the storm of grief had spent itself she went away to her room alone. She would have no one follow her."

Almost immediately after this sentence, Kate Chopin starts writing using the internal focalization. We notice it seeing the words "comfortable", "delicious" and we discover all the real feelings and thoughts in Louise's mind. Without this internal focalization, we could have thought that Louise is desperately sad about the loss of her husband.

At the end of the story, we return to the external focalization, after having observed Louise's real state of mind. "When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease__ of joy that kills." With this last sentence we discover what we would have logically deduced from Louise's death, without entering her mind through the author's pen. And it would have been a much less interesting story. These two focalizations make us notice the irony of the story. The doctors are sure of what they say and we know there are wrong. They are supposed to have knowledge but they just give a banal interpretation of her death, just as we could have done. In a lot of cases, we are sure to understand everything, whereas things we would have never thought about can be hidden.

Sources:

Kate Chopin, The Story of an Hour, 1894

...

...

Download as:   txt (2.3 Kb)   pdf (55 Kb)   docx (9.4 Kb)  
Continue for 1 more page »
Only available on AllBestEssays.com
Citation Generator

(2011, 12). External and Internal Focalisation on in "the Story of an Hour". AllBestEssays.com. Retrieved 12, 2011, from https://www.allbestessays.com/essay/External-and-Internal-Focalisation-on-in-the-Story/15582.html

"External and Internal Focalisation on in "the Story of an Hour"" AllBestEssays.com. 12 2011. 2011. 12 2011 <https://www.allbestessays.com/essay/External-and-Internal-Focalisation-on-in-the-Story/15582.html>.

"External and Internal Focalisation on in "the Story of an Hour"." AllBestEssays.com. AllBestEssays.com, 12 2011. Web. 12 2011. <https://www.allbestessays.com/essay/External-and-Internal-Focalisation-on-in-the-Story/15582.html>.

"External and Internal Focalisation on in "the Story of an Hour"." AllBestEssays.com. 12, 2011. Accessed 12, 2011. https://www.allbestessays.com/essay/External-and-Internal-Focalisation-on-in-the-Story/15582.html.