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The Story of an Hour: Literary Analysis INTRODUCTION Moments are very important in human life trajectory. The short story, “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin displays the short paced elapse between the moments encountered by the protagonist of the story Louise Mallard…
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Download file to see previous pages One of the potent criticisms of the text lies in the psychoanalysis and the social psychology that were very much inherent during the time of the story’s publication related with the newly envisaged theory of sexual selection by Darwin. However, the story, “The Story of an Hour” brings into contention many critical and psychological theories operating subtly within the tight-lipped and fast paced plot of the story which has a social importance at the contextual level as well. This essay intends to analyses the story, “The Story of an Hour” and keeping in central position the character of the protagonist Louise Mallard helps to explain the socio-psychological position of the women in the contemporary society. THE STORY OF AN HOUR: AN ANALYSIS The story, “The Story of an Hour” centers round the life and struggle of a woman name Louise Mallard. The story had to face a volley of criticisms for considering a woman character as its protagonist and evoked a volley of controversies for selecting a woman at the center of the plot during the late Victorian era. In addition, the fact that the woman feels elated by hearing the news of her husband’s death, the kind of liberation of soul along with feeling of being free expressed after understanding that her husband is not going to return any more enable to envision the story as a feminist text at the outset. The confusion that whether the text, “The Story of an Hour” is a story of liberation or tragedy will always remain intact. At one hand, the death of her husband who has never shown enough concern or care to love his wife comes into surface. On the other hand, Louise starts to believe that her husband’s death is going to bring him freedom for her physically, mentally and sexually. And, this has to be taken into consideration that Louise is a representative of her time and society. The story is a raging war against patriarchy prevailing at the Chopin’s time and challenges the idea of marriage and the false and the much hyped values associated with it. This can be well understood through the predicament and emotional turmoil that the protagonist of the story undergoes within an hour time span when she is not sure of her husband’s death. In the book, “The Story of an Hour : Kate Chopin’s Voice Against Patriarchy “ by Anonym quotes worthily that “Chopin made women the subject of the patriarch-centered world by stressing the male boundaries and showing alternative ways for women to get out of this world by developing an own identity” (Anonym 12). Breaking the shackles of married life and liberating women only for the sake of liberation were not the sole agenda of the story. On the contrary, Chopin wanted to give a progressive dimension by providing a voice to a woman who wanted to be free and seek her own identity. The selection of Louise as the protagonist was intentional and to review the emotional turmoil of a woman who is not sure to express grief or gaiety at the news of her husband’s death through the eyes of Louise herself was deliberate. At this juncture, another female protagonist Josephine could have been a sorted choice or even a third person narrator. However, one has to understand the motif of Chopin behind framing the story and presenting it through the voice of the protagonist herself. Alan Cheuse insightfully mentions in the book, “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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