The Story of an Hour-Setting Analysis

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Brian Serber ENGL2500 M01 Setting Textual Analysis 9/30/13 Thesis: In “The Story of an Hour”, Kate Chopin portrays the optimistic rebirth of Mrs. Mallard that arose from a tragic event. The setting outside of the Mallard house of mourning uses the imagery as a metaphor for Mrs. Mallard’s new worldly perspective in wake of her husband’s death. The first metaphoric image is of the trees outside the home: “The tops of the trees that were all aquiver with new spring life.” (66). This image of a tree flushed with new spring life is a metaphor for rebirth, just as Mrs. Mallard will now have new opportunities to pursue her own happiness. A second metaphoric image is of the patches of blue sky through the clouds: “There were patches of blue sky showing here and there through the clouds” (66). This image represents finding reason to be hopeful through adversity. Just as Mr. Mallard’s untimely death will present difficulty there is reason for Mrs. Mallard to be optimistic. The metaphor continues with Mrs. Mallard seeing the sparrows: “countless sparrows were twittering in the eaves.” (66). The sparrows represent freedom as they are able to fly away, just as Mrs. Mallard is now free to live for herself. The untimely death of Mr. Mallard presents an opportunity for Mrs. Mallard to pursue new found happiness. Inside the Mallard home has become a scene for morning. The setting outside of the Mallard home uses imagery as a metaphor for Mrs. Mallard’s new enthusiastic view for her new life; freed from the trappings of her
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