Symbolism Of "The Story Of An Hour"

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Identifying symbolism in a piece of written work may take some conscious effort, however readers often identify and interpret symbols without realization. Authors use symbols to further represent various aspects of plot and theme, and to provide dimensional enhancement to a story’s root meaning. Although The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin is brief, there is no shortage of symbolism. Strong symbolic themes are present in the story of an hour and vary in complexity. Each symbol serves to bring a new dimension of meaning to the story and create an increasingly intricate level of semantic detail. Mrs. Mallard’s heart condition is immediately recognized in the story as her sister Josephine and family friend Richard are cautious to break the news of her husbands sudden death. Much to the reader’s surprise, however, Mrs. Mallard’s secret triumphant behavior is soon advertised, revealing an insight into the marriage of these two characters. Louise briefly speaks of the moment she will first see the body of her husband. Although she dreads this inevitable scene, it quickly vanished from her mind as she is filled with positive thoughts of a new beginning. She is described as: opening her arms and welcoming the many years that would belong to her absolutely. This character development gives great clarity to the dysfunctional and unhealthy marriage between Louise and Brently Mallard. Audiences are lead to believe that the existing heart condition endured by Mrs. Mallard is symbolic of a dreaded lifestyle that she is anxious to escape. The setting of this story remains consistent taking place mainly in Mrs. mallard’s upstairs bedroom. Upon receiving the unfortunate news of her husbands death, she immediately flees upstairs to be alone. This setting is appropriate because it symbolizes Mrs. Mallard rising to new heights, whereas she may previously have been weighed down

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