Eternal Life Essay

1461 Words 6 Pages
Eternal Life

1 Is there life after death? In Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour,” Mrs. Mallard “is drinking the elixir of life through her open window.” It is possible that this very elixir provides Mrs. Mallard with her freedom through eternal life. Through Chopin’s use of characterization, conflict, and symbols, the author reveals the theme that like Mrs. Mallard, some people can achieve freedom through eternal life. [Does "eternal life" here mean life after death, or, as in "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment," life without death? The basic problem with this essay is that it overlooks the primary point of the story -- Louise glimpses freedom as a result of the death of her husband, and then loses that freedom with the realization
…show more content…
[Why not just the anticipation of freedom?] All of the physical characteristics the author gives here present the reader with insight that something is taking place within Louise’s soul. “She [is even] beginning to recognize this thing that was approaching to possess her” (12). Could she be feeling the presence of God? [Why not just the presence of freedom?] The author also implies the process of purification that is necessary to gain eternal life, by writing that Mrs. Mallard’s “pulse beat p[f?]ast, and the coursing blood warmed her body” (13). [How does this suggest purification?] She was whispering “free” (12). Is this the freedom of eternal life? [I see nothing in the story that suggests that she wants eternal life. Everything appears to suggest that she wants freedom from her husband.]

4 In addition to characterization, Chopin uses conflict throughout the story to emphasize the theme of eternal life. For instance, she creates a conflict between appearance vs. reality. It would appear that Richard has a valid claim that Mrs. Mallard’s husband was killed, but later, the reader can see, [no ,] that in reality, this is not the case. In addition, on the surface, it appears her body and soul are set free because of her husband’s untimely death. [Yes] But in reality, her body and soul are set free through eternal life. When the reader sees she is “drinking in a very elixir of life through that open window” (13), he or she can associate
Open Document