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Kate Chopins the Story of an Hour - Essay Example

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The paper “Kate Chopin’s the Story of an Hour” examines a vivid portrayal of a female character who dares to approach the death of her husband and her new status as a widow with a sense of self-rejuvenation and a feeling of freedom, from the oppression of her marriage…
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Kate Chopins the Story of an Hour
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Kate Chopins the Story of an Hour

Download file to see previous pages... Though initially aggrieved at the death of her husband, she gradually begins to embrace her fate as a widow with an optimistic perspective. The story, therefore, is a psychological recording of the aggrieved female character who feels liberated from the chains of oppression, eventually only to ironically meet her own end, when her supposedly deceased husband appears before her at the end of the story. Kate Chopin’s greatness in portraying the story of Louise Mallard lies not only in the content of the story but also in her choice of words, vivid imagery and finally in the dramatic irony at the end that catches every reader by surprise. The entire story, while presenting a perspective that would have easily shocked many readers of those times, nevertheless stays very close to reality. Louise Mallard’s response, for example gradually evolves from one of grief to a sense of rejuvenation. She is initially seen to weep because of ‘sudden, wild abandonment’, (Chopin) after which she retires alone into her room, giving up to a sense of ‘physical exhaustion’ (Chopin) which is then followed by a sense of rejuvenation, or rather a sense of undeniable freedom. Within this evolution of her feelings, Kate Chopin encircles the reality of the character’s life. ...
Thus, the gloom, the oppression and the physical exhaustion of her past is gradually overcome with the vivid and rejuvenating images of ‘the spring of new life’, with ‘delicious breath of rain in the air’ and the ‘countless…twittering’ of sparrows and with a peaceful atmosphere roofed by ‘patches of blue sky’, (Chopin) which she views from the window of her room (the window thereby serving as another image of freedom). The storm of grief and the gloom now lie quite forgotten along with her heart trouble, which according to Jennifer Hicks, was never an indication of heart disease but rather pointed to the fact that her marriage had not ‘allowed her to live for herself’ (2002). The vivid imagery drawn by Kate Chopin thereby give an irrepressible feeling of re-awakening and the reader can, in fact, visualize Louise Mallard rising before their eyes, breaking away from the repressive marriage and surrendering herself to the ‘brief moment of illumination’ (Chopin) that was determined to possess her. The gradual evolution of her emotions that is established by the writer, therefore, serve in strengthening her character. Critic Daniel P. Deneau writes, ‘If immediately after learning of the death of her husband Louise had gone through a rapid logical process leading to a celebration of her total freedom, she might have seemed to be a hard, calculating, and therefore unsympathetic woman’ (2003). While women of the time were expected to bemoan the death of their husband and their status as a widow, Kate Chopins determines herself to present a new perspective through the character of Louise Mallard. The sense of rejuvenation, experienced by the character is, therefore, an assertion to the people of the time who denied women their basic rights.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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