Criticalessayon Essay, Research Paper
The short story, The Story of an Hour , was a story meant to show how the effects of oppression by men over women led to the freedom and inevitable death of Louise Mallard. The name of The Story of an Hour was used because Mrs. Mallard s realization of her freedom all takes place within one hour. Author Kate Chopin wrote the story in 1894 during a time in which women s suffrage was just beginning to really start up. Many references of oppression are made throughout the short story. The first reference comes from the last name Mallard. A mallard is a type of duck in which the male of the species is very bright and colorful, but the female is dull and brown. This symbolizes how females during the late 1800 s and early 1900 s were seen as people whose opinions were dull and not worth listening to. Mrs. Mallard is described as young, with a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression and even certain strength. While Mrs. Mallard may be repressed, she is still young and has time to end her repression. As the story begins it states Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble, great care was taken to break to her gently as possible the news of her husband s death . This is used as foreshadowing of Mrs. Mallard s imminent death. After receiving the news of her husband s death, Mrs. Mallard wept at once, with sudden wild abandonment, in her sister s arms. When the storm of grief had spent itself she went away to her room alone. The storm of grief represents how bad and dark it is now that her husband has died, but in the next paragraph, Mrs. Mallard begins to notice the great changes that will come about soon. There stood, facing the open window, a comfortable, roomy armchair. The open window shows how thing are beginning to become clear to Mrs. Mallard and the roomy armchair shows how open and free she is now that her husband has died. 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. , and the distant song which some one was singing all show how Mrs. Mallard believes her life will be new and changing now that her husband has died. The countless sparrows twittering in the eves is a reference to birds again, but this time the species used is one in which the male and female are equal in color to each other. Again, the sentence There were patches of blue sky showing here and there. is used to show how things are becoming clearer to Mrs. Mallard and it shows how the dark storm of her husband has finally ended. The last of her husband s repression finally leaves her as she gives up her fight to beat back the idea that has arisen in her mind. She begins saying free, free, free under her breath and at this point she truly understands the benefits of her husbands death. In paragraph 13, Kate Chopin tries to tell the reader how many husbands do not even know they are oppressing by writing face that never looked save love upon her. The dramatic climax of the story comes when Brently Mallard returns home, unhurt and not dead. The sight of Brently causes Mrs. Mallard to die of what the doctors say is a heart disease of joy that kills. The true reason for Mrs. Mallard s death is the fact that she now notices that she is still not free. Because she had seen her freedom, she could not go back to her husband; therefore, her only other option was death.