Story: “The Story of an Hour” (1894) Author: Kate Chopin (1850-1904) Central character: Mrs. Mallard- Mrs. Mallard is a dynamic character. She was the wife of Brently Mallard who was assumed to be killed in a train wreck. She was sad her husband was dead, but has an awakening.
Other characters: Josephine- Mrs. Mallard’s sister. She informed Mrs. Mallard her husband was dead. Richard- He was Brently Mallard’s best friend. He was with Josephine when she broke the news to Mrs. Mallard.
He was the one who learned of the train wreck and had seen Brently Mallard’s name on the list of the deceased.Setting: The setting was set in the atmosphere and the mood. It is spring time, a time of rebirth and renewal. When Mrs. Mallard learns of her husband’s death, she locks herself in her room and stares out the window.
The weather is bad, but when she realizes what good may come, the weather begins to get better also. Narrator: The story is narrated in an omniscient voice. It is told by someone outside the story. Events in summary: Mrs. Mallard is a woman with a heart condition. Her sister and husband’s best friend break the news to her that he was in a train wreck. Mrs. Mallard locks herself in her upstairs room and weeps over his death.
Mrs. Mallard, while locked in her room, begins to realize the good in her husband being dead. Mrs. Mallard is then overcome by joy and comes back downstairs.
On her way downstairs, the front door opens and it is her husband. Mrs. Mallard then dies. Conflict: The conflict is described as Man v.
Man. The protagonist, Mrs. Mallard is a woman who is married to a man that seems to work a lot and not spend so much time with her. It is assumed their relationship is not the best when Mrs.
Mallard begins to realize the joy of him being dead. Theme: Mrs. Mallard dies “of joy that kills” (50).These words carry the absolutely opposite meaning, than they read. We understand, that the doctors are wrong, thinking that she dies from happiness of seeing her husband again. She chooses rather to die than to live again under her husband’s will, especially after experiencing freedom, even just for one hour.
This hour in a comfortable armchair in front of the open window made her feel happy and free, made her to understand the sense of her being, and it was the only real hour of her life. Symbols: There were many symbols used in the story. Chopin uses the natural setting and weather to give the reader a vivid imagination on how Mrs.Mallard feels. The story is set the spring.
Spring symbolizes rebirth and renewal. It also symbolizes the exciting new life Mrs. Mallard believes is awaiting her. Another sample of symbolism is the patches of clear blue sky. These patches of sky symbolize Mrs. Mallard’s emergence into her new life. “The Story of an Hour” was a great story. Kate Chopin’s use of irony and symbolism gives the reader vivid details into the protagonists’ head and gives an ending that the reader never sees coming.
Although Mrs. Mallard dies at the end of the story, it is quite comical with the events that lead up to her death that day.