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The Story of an Hour - 1

  • Date Submitted: 10/08/2012 09:25 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 80.9 
  • Words: 1149
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In Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour”, connected with me right away.   I was drawn in
by the tone, and her use of images in the piece. I will be using a Reader Response approach to analyze ‘The Story of an Hour”.
Louise Mallard is a woman who has recently learned of her husband’s supposed death in a railroad accident in the late 1890”s. She has a weak heart, and her family and friends are around her to tell her of the news.   After hearing of her husband’s death she goes to her room and locks the door.   Instead of breaking down like I had expected she would do, she feels enlightened and joyful.   I connected with Louise at this point.   I have never had a husband die, but I had been in an abusive marriage.   I loved my husband, but when I left, instead of feeling sorrow for a failed marriage, I felt joy and freedom.
In the story, the tone changes to one of concern and solemness, to one of secret elation, and excitement.   Louise’s friends and family are concerned about telling he of her husband’s passing because of her weak heart.   They don’t want to come right out with the news and shock her to death. When Louise hears the news, (Chopin, K. 1894) “She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance. She 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. She would have no one follow.” When she goes up to her room, the tone changes dramatically.
It takes her a minute to let her feelings sink in and for her to actually realize what she is feeling. At first she feels heavy (Chopin, K 1894)” There stood, facing the open window, a comfortable, roomy armchair. Into this she sank, pressed down by a physical exhaustion that haunted her body and seemed to reach into her soul.”   As she looks out the window, the world seems to rush in at her with renewed vibrancy. A variety of sights, sounds and smells are coming alive...


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