Kate Chopin Analytical Essay - the Story of an Hour

1931 Words May 22nd, 2010 8 Pages
The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin is a short yet complex story, describing Mrs Mallard’s feelings. It focuses on the unfolding emotional state of Mrs Mallard after the news of her husbands death, and has overflowing symbolism and imagery. It is an impressive literary piece that touches the readers’ feelings and mind and allows the reader to have a connection to Mrs Mallard’s emotional process. Although the story is short, it is complete with each word carrying deep sense and meaning. It is written in the 19th century, a time that had highly restrictive gender roles that forbade women to live as they saw fit. Mrs Mallard experiences something not everyone during this time has the luck to have; the happiness of freedom that the reader only …show more content…
In paragraph eight, Chopin begins to use personification as well as imagery. Mrs Mallard “young, with a fair, calm face” (158) is sitting in the armchair with a “dull stare in her eyes” (158) which “indicated of intelligent thought” (158). Reading this, the reader can form an idea of what Mrs Mallard looks like, and we understand that there’s something going on in Mrs Mallards head, something changing everything in her mind. Mrs Mallard is still struggling to figure it out but “she felt it, creeping out of the sky, reaching towards her through the sounds, the scents, the color that filled the air”. From this we understand that she is beginning to realise it, and her soul is beginning to fill with happiness of freedom, which is in all the sounds, smells and things she sees. For one moment, however, she is somewhat afraid of feeling happy about her freedom and “she was striving to beat it back with her will” (159). This shows that Mrs Mallard is a “product” of her time, and is striving to feel what is socially accepted. She realizes that society would determine her thoughts of freedom inappropriate, but she can’t stop herself from feeling that way.
However, “she knew that she would weep again when she saw the kind, tender hands folded in death” (159), but it’s just a reaction, one that society expects her to have, and one that many have when dealing with the death of someone they know. Chopin…