The Story Of An Hour Symbolism Essay

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The Story of an Hour, by Kate Chopin, is a wonderful short story filled with many different peculiar twists and turns. Written in 1894, the author tells a tale of a woman who learns of her husband’s death, but comes to find joy in it. Many of the things Kate Chopin writes about in this story symbolize something more than just the surface meaning. Through this short story, told in less than one thousand one hundred words, Kate Chopin illustrates deeper meanings through many different forms of symbolism such as the open window in the bedroom, Mrs. Louise Mallard’s heart trouble, and Chopin’s physical description of Mrs. Mallard. The open window in the bedroom symbolizes Mrs. Mallard’s feelings of being alive and free, and the opportunities…show more content…
Mrs. Mallard’s window is a serene place where she can be happy about life to come, and only at her window is where she truly feels free. Chopin uses another symbol, Mrs. Mallard’s bad heart, early on in The Story of an Hour. Mrs. Mallard afflicted with heart trouble is a symbol of how broken-hearted and trapped she is in her marriage. Her heart trouble is the first thing the reader learns about her so, presumably, this will play a key role throughout the story. In her bedroom, she has a sense of freedom which makes her blood pump furiously. Mrs. Mallard, shocked that her husband is alive, dies of heart disease. “When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease- of the joy that kills” (Chopin). Her heart condition could be physical, as well as psychological. An article written by Ann Woodlief states:
Mrs. Mallard’s heart trouble is surely two-fold--no doubt a physical defect exists, possibly exaggerated emotional strain--heart trouble, the intangible variety, unhappiness, misery, the sad state of one’s lot in life. Mrs. Mallard’s heart trouble may have been psychological as well as biological--one can literally make oneself ill from worry, depression, etc. People do die of a broken heart. (“‘The Story of an Hour’”: Student Responses, 1996)
The relationship Mrs. Mallard had with her husband was not one filled with love. Around the time this story was written arranged marriages were a major thing. She was most likely arranged into marriage
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