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Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

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The Short Story "The Story of An Hour" by Kate Chopin was a very interesting piece of literature because the story had many twist and turns that threw the reader off guard. As the narrator describes the conflict of Mrs. Mallard's husband who died in a train wreck, I noticed indirect characterization when "she wept at once, with sudden wild abandonment, in her sister's arms." I believed that because of the Mrs. Mallard's reaction, she was distraught and shocked about her husband's death. However, once she escapes to her room, alone, she is sitting in a "comfortable, roomy armchair" and watched the "tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring of life." I came to a conclusion that the armchair and the trees represented her freedom of being released after her husband's death. Also, the fact that she directly said "Free! Body and soul free!" illustrates that she is overjoyed and excited about the new current event of her husband's death. As she watches the scenery, through the open window, she could see her successful future as a free woman. At this point, I immediately believed that Kate Chopin was conveying the feminist tone that women should not be imprisoned by marriage whether it is for love, social status, or public appearance. Also, her theme of the short story was to reveal that woman are not hysterical and weak, but rather strong and determined. However, because of the time period the author lived in, society did not accept certain perspectives of things. And, most certainly, during that period society believed women were property of men. As a result of the restriction from society, Chopin covers her true theme by having the main character die at the bottom of the staircase. Also, the fact, that Brently was alive and she died because of "the joy that kills" morphs the true meaning of the short story.



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