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The Story of an Hour

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Essay title: The Story of an Hour

The Story of An Hour

The Story of An Hour by Kate Chopin is a short but relatively detailed piece. The rolls of characterization and narration play a very significant part in the story as a whole but also as a part of the underlying theme that nothing is as it appears. Throughout the story we are shocked at outcomes that differ greatly from what we naturally believe should happen in situations like these.

In the very first sentence of this short story we are informed of Mrs. Mallard, or Louise’s affliction that is heart disease. With this information and the fact that she is being informed of her husbands death, it is likely that most people will think of Louise as a feeble older woman. I must admit, that was my first thought about her. However as I read on I discovered that she is in fact a younger woman, “ with a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression and even a certain strength.” This is the first situation where something doesn’t appear as it should. A young woman like Louise should not be the type to have heart disease and a dead husband, but that is the state of things. Because of her affliction, her sister, Josephine, and her husband’s friend, Richards, were peculiar about telling Louise in a gentle manner, as to not upset her heart to greatly. Once again we see abnormality in the way she reacted. Most women in this situation would deny it and be unable to accept such a statement, but not Louise. She believed it immediately and “wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment”. In most situations where a close family member as died, people will grieve for days or weeks. Some families panic, and wives especially because they are now head of their household and all alone. Such news would be overwhelming for most and cause great hysteria. However, after her weeping, Louise was alone in her room and started to get a strange feeling that something was coming to her.

She was beginning to recognize this thing that was approaching to possess her, and she was striving to beat it back with her will--as powerless as her two white slender hands would have been. When she abandoned herself a little whispered word escaped her slightly parted lips. She said it over and over under her breath: “free, free, free!”

These are not the words one expects to come out of the mouth of a brand new widow. Now, she was not necessarily happy that he was dead; no she admitted that she would cry over his coffin. However, thinking of the rest of her life that she would live under her own free will made her happier than she could imagine.

There are many aspects about Louise that support the assumption that nothing in this story is as it seems. Even the title itself is misleading. It is called The Story of An Hour, but this narrative is by no means an hour long story. Nor does it take an hour to even read aloud. The way it is written, and the way the narrator speaks in the story helps give the illusion that time is slower than it actually

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