The Story of an Hour Analysis

712 WordsSep 10, 20123 Pages
Literature creates a way for readers and authors alike to escape to an imaginary world. Readers must use imagination to relate to literature and to understand the message being conveyed. Authors cleverly utilize literary techniques and effective imagery to grip readers while also addressing a deeper issue. This paper addresses the methods used by Kate Chopin in The Story of an Hour to reveal the true meaning of her story. The inference gained is that societal expectations caused female oppression in the late 19th century however women were “yearning for freedom” (Toth, 2012, para. 11) and would not survive without it. The Story of an Hour first captured my interest with the image of the Mrs. Mallard being notified of her husband’s death. The description of her emotions that followed learning of the accident as a, “storm of grief” (Clugston, R., 2010, p. 27) was powerful. The imagery Kate Chopin depicted immediately took me back to the fateful day two years ago when I was notified of my own husband’s sudden death. At that point, I was drawn in by the similar situations and devoured the remainder of the story quickly. At first I was shocked by the feelings of release and freedom that Mrs. Mallard experienced after losing her husband. However, after reading the depiction of the repression she experienced and considering the time the story is set in her feelings became more understandable. The reader-response approach in my literary criticism of The Story of an Hour was the first approach that appealed to me due to the initial personal and emotional connection to the story however, after further evaluation I decided to use the formalist approach. This approach allows to me to evaluate the story on a deeper level. As a formalist critic I will identify “the literary tools and techniques” used in the literature and “how they are used to make the

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