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"The Story of an Hour
Transcript of "The Story of an Hour
by Kate Chopin Focus Statement In “The Story of an Hour”, Kate Chopin uses contrasting images of life and death, as well as irony, to illustrate Louise Mallard’s thwarted awakening of her new-found freedom from her traditional 19th century marriage. Images of life and death -"Her fancy was running riot along those days ahead of her. Spring days, and summer days, and all sorts of days that would be her own. She breathed a quick prayer that life might be long. It was only yesterday she had thought with a shudder that life might be long" (page 348, paragraph 19) Irony -“When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease- of joy that kills” (Page 349, paragraph 23) Isabella Poleo "She knew that she would weep again when she saw the kind, tender hands folded in death; the face that had never looked save with love upon her, fixed and gray and dead. But she saw beyond that bitter moment a long procession of years to come that would belong to her absolutely. And she opened and spread her arms out to them in welcome." (page 348, paragraph 13) "She could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life. The delicious breath of rain was in the air ... countless sparrows were twittering in the eaves." (page 347, paragraph 5) New-found freedom -“She said it over and over under her breath: ‘free, free, free!’ The vacant stare and the look of terror that had followed it went from her eyes. They stayed keen and bright. Her pulses beat fast, and the coursing blood warmed and relaxed every inch of her body” (pages 347-348, paragraph 11) Conclusion - The character of Louise Mallard finds joy and freedom from the death of her husband since she was suffering from the oppressiveness of her traditional 19th century marriage.
- This awakening of her newfound freedom is later interrupted by the presence of her husband, causing her death.
- Throughout the story, Kate Chopin uses contrasting images of life and death, as well as irony, to illustrate the interrupted awakening of Mrs. Mallard.