The Story of an Hour

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Date Submitted: 07/02/2011 07:12 PM

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Analyzing a Short Story

By: Jasmine Braxton

“Story of an Hour

Thesis: An analysis of "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin strongly suggests "carpe diem", meaning seize the day, along with living your life to the fullest. Author, Kate Chopin, uses symbolism, metaphors, personification, similies and irony to help the reader through this bittersweet story.


The main theme to this short story relates a lot to the saying, "carpe diem", meaning to seize the day, along with living your life to the fullest without any constraints. Along with the theme, there were several basic literary terms that were noticed a lot and those are symbolism, metaphors, and irony, similes and personification. The story starts out right away describing Mrs. Mallard having a heart disease, and how the news of her husband's death couldn’t be brought up to her in an easy manner. Once Mrs. Mallard was told the news about her husband from her sister Josephine, she immediately started to weep. "She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with paralyzed inability to accept its significance." (Chopin, 1). This passage shows Mrs. Mallards guilt and little possession of faith mostly because she realized that she had taken her husband for granted. Also, by taking her husband for granted, she felt like there was nothing else that she could do besides lose all hope in his survival which left Mrs. Mallard with nothing but heartbreak and depression. But what Mrs. Mallard doesn’t know is that Mr. Mallard was a constraint to her wellbeing and living a fulfilled life.

Symbolism was a strong term in this short story, mainly because it was there to point out a symbol in most of the detailed paragraphs. Paragraph 6, "There were patches...west facing her window." (Chopin, 1). Possibly meaning death, or wished death upon her. For example, saying "going west/the coast" meant death. Also, in Mrs. Mallard's situation, it would make sense for Chopin to make this symbolic...