Analysis of Chopin's the Story of an Hour

Submitted by: Submitted by

Views: 1864

Words: 1156

Pages: 5

Category: Literature

Date Submitted: 03/17/2011 10:34 AM

Report This Essay

Kate Chopin’s "The Story of an Hour"

Dawn Korsick


Professor Porter

March 6, 2011

I had to read the short story, “The Story of an Hour” (Chopin, 1894), twice. The first time was a quick read through when it had captured my attention with the following sentence, “When the storm of grief had spent itself she went away to her room alone. She would have no one follow” (Chopin, 1894). This sentence alone made me read the short story at a faster pace just to find out what was going to happen at the end. I had taken to the reader-response approach to this story and during the second time of reading, I had made a connection with the character of Mrs. Mallard and the feeling of finally becoming free from a commitment that took away one’s independence.

It was during the first few paragraphs that you felt Mrs. Mallard’s depression and sadness, these emotions together with her known heart condition, as the reader, you imagined the worst for when she would go to her room alone. It isn’t until Mrs. Mallard starts describing the scenes outside of her window in paragraph five, that you start to understand that what we are reading is a short story filled with symbolism and imagery. Of course this is confirmed in paragraph eleven, “She said it over and over under her breath: “free, free, free!” (Chopin, 1894). And it was this sentence that my connection was confirmed.

Although a historical and biographical approach can be taken to critically analyze Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour”, I believe, as a feminist by nature, that women of all periods of time can make a connection and find meaning in this short story.

In regards to a historical and biographical approach in analyzing “The Story of an Hour” (Chopin, 1894), we start with the fact that it was written in the nineteenth century and during the time that restrictive rules had not allowed women to live as they saw fit, but rather their image was that of the man that they married. Kate...