Analysis of "The Story of an Hour"

Essay by TEH2711College, UndergraduateA-, May 2005

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An Analysis of "The Story of an Hour"

In the short story, "Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin, a woman wants desperately to escape a repressive marriage in which she is trapped. Due to an unfortunate accident she is given that chance of freedom, and Chopin's story tells of that hour. This is a very short story, so it is fascinating to see the surprise ending that offers an opportunity to look at Chopin's use of foreshadowing and irony.

Although short, each word in the story has significance, and every line has important meaning. It is possible to assume much about Mrs. Mallard's life, even though very little is given about it. In the first paragraph there is mention of the railroad and a telegraph, so there is some indication of the time period that the story takes place in. The story also demonstrates the differences between the way men and women communicated with each other over a century ago, compared to the way they communicate now.

Mrs. Mallard never told her husband how unhappy she was in the marriage and just considered herself stuck for the rest of her life in an unhappy marriage. In 1894, divorce was so shameful that it wouldn't have even been an option for Mrs. Mallard, and so her only way "out" of the marriage would have been one of their deaths. Also in the beginning of the story it is shown that she lives in a male dominated world. Even though her sister is the one who tells her the bad news of her husbands' death, Her husband's friend rushes over to make sure that Mrs. Mallard isn't told the story with out care or tenderness.

It is also implied that Brently Mallard made a fairly decent living, because...

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