Story Of An Hour Literary Analysis Essay

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Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour" addresses the central concerns of feminine identity while, ultimately, denying the fulfilment of such an experience. Her use of irony stands in direct contrast to the restrained manner in which she writes the story. In this paper I will argue that freedom can kill without warning and can be given or taken away without question. I will do this by showing the shifts in tone throughout the story and using the phrase "the joy that kills" to reflect on the underlying themes of freedom and oppression. The significance of this is illustrated by Chopin through the main character's emotions in the wake of the news of her husband’s death, from her initial sense of grief, to her perplexing sense of joy. In “The Story of an Hour,” freedom is portrayed as a forbidden pleasure that can rarely be attained. The use of the phrase…show more content…
Chopin suggests Mrs. Mallard is held back in her marriage. As the lines of her face "bespoke repression" resulting in her lack of individuality. However, she still loved her husband even if it had only been sometimes. Brently Mallard also only ever looked at Mrs. Mallard with love, even though he believed he had the "right to impose a private will upon a fellow creature". This implies that he did not abuse her, but enforced his obligation as a husband, to direct Mrs. Mallard in everything she does. In the wake of her husband's death Mrs. Mallard sees an opportunity to live out the rest of life for herself and to be her own person and that "all sort of days…would be her own". She repeats the words "Free, free, free!" (paragraph 11) and feels her body come alive. Her pulse beats faster; her blood runs warmer; her eyes brighten (paragraph 11). She now looks forward to a long life with freedom of expression and individuality which she had previously dreaded while hearing about the death of her
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