Character Amidst Tragedy Essay

862 Words4 Pages
In "The Story of an Hour" Kate Chopin meticulously chooses diction that encourages a defined view of the female characters. The role Mrs. Mallard plays, as well as Josephine's, displays positive examples of feminine characterization in the story. Notably, it is important for the reader to recognize differences between the antagonist's opinion of Mrs. Mallard and the way she sees herself. Although the author in many ways displays both females as weak, she does so in order to provoke thoughts within the onlooker. Throughout the entirety of the writing, Chopin alludes to the need women have for others. Both positions played by women in this story initially exhibit women as weak, but a closer look demonstrates to readers their strength…show more content…
In the beginning she conveys the news of the tragedy, all the while breaking the news in "broken sentences" and "veiled hints" (12). This hesitation reiterates weaknesses women are thought to have. Throughout this story, women are shown in a negative way, from the opening where Josephine is stuttering moving along to Mrs. Mallard weeping with "wild abandonment" (13) in Josephine's arms, to the later image of Josephine pounding upon Mrs. Mallard's bedroom door in the hopes that she will allow herself to be dependent upon those closest to her. After learning of the tragedy, Mrs. Mallard retires to her room, leaving the other characters apprehensive of what may result from her being alone in such a time. Unbeknownst to her fellow characters the time she spends alone is directed in self-growth rather than mourning. While Josephine and Richards anxiously await any sort of response, onlookers see that Mrs. Mallard is coping with the situation positively. In fact, it is the two views of the situation readers are given that makes Josephine's hysteria seem quite ridiculous. Onlookers contrast Mrs. Mallard's calm demeanor to that of Josephine as she peeks through the keyhole pleading for a response. While Mrs. Mallard's primary focus is to find independence, it becomes ironic that her fellow characters fear the consequence of her solitude the most. Mrs. Mallard reacts to the tragedy by directing
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