Symbolism In Kate Chopin's The Story Of An Hour

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While most of Kate Chopin’s short stories were well received, “The Story of an Hour” was originally rejected by publishers until 1894 when Vogue decided to publish the short story. However after her death most of Chopin’s work was forgotten, that was until the 1950s when her work again was recognized as insightful and moving, setting into motion a Kate Chopin revival which was both successful and remarkable (Biography). “The Story of an Hour” focuses on the liberation and new found freedom of a newly widowed woman. The short story, told from Louise Mallard’s point of view, follows Louise’s emotions, thoughts, and eventual death in the hour she is told her husband has died. Through “The Story of an Hour”, Kate Chopin uses symbolism,…show more content…
The delicious breath of rain was in the air. In the street below a peddler was crying his wares. The notes of a distant song which some one was singing reached her faintly, and countless sparrows were twittering in the eaves. There were patches of blue sky showing here and there through the clouds that had met and piled above the other in the west facing window. (39)
This description of Mrs. Mallard’s window view mirrors her current situation (Deneau 210). Her husband's death marks the end of winter and the view represents spring and the birth of her new found freedom. The sky is also a representation of Mrs. Mallard’s situation. While the clouds represent the shadow of her marriage, the patches of blue sky represent her bright, new life (Rosenblum 2). Furthermore, the trees aquiver with life represent Mrs. Mallard herself, who is overtaken by the thoughts of her new found freedom. Mrs. Mallard goes on to think about spring days and summer days that are ahead, but never winter or autumn (Rosenblum 2). This is because spring and summer again represent new life, while winter and autumn both represent death.

Not only is “The Story of an Hour” filled with symbolism, but it also contains a great deal of irony. In the beginning of the short story Richard, a friend of Brently Mallard, waits for a second telegram to confirm the death of his friend, but despite his best efforts, Richard still provides the
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