Kate Chopin Essay Sample: Three Symbols in The Story Of An Hour

Published: 2022-06-10
Kate Chopin Essay Sample: Three Symbols in The Story Of An Hour
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Kate Chopin The Story of An Hour Gender in literature
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 860 words
8 min read

Authors of literary works typically use literary devices and methods in order to enhance the depth and meaning of their writing. One way that enables an author to achieve this is by utilizing one article in order to represent another. This literary method prompts the reader to carefully analyze the text in order to obtain the deeper significances of the writer's chosen symbols. In "The Story of an Hour" composed by Kate Chopin, Mrs. Mallard, the protagonist was depicted as a young, peaceful, although a repressed woman who is suffering from heart disease. Her husband is believed to be involved in a train accident in which he is thought to be dead. Mrs. Mallard grieves for the death of her husband for a short while before she comes to the realization that she is now free from the restrictions of marriage life. She basically feels liberated by the news of her husband tragic accident. She was not aware to the fact that her husband was still alive and kicking and was nowhere near the vicinity of the tragic event. Mrs. Mallard later on dies from a heart attack when she found out that her husband was still alive. The aspect of using symbolism is an integral element of the story. Symbolism is a literary device which aims at depicting ideas and events through the use of tangible things. Kate Chopin has applied brilliant imagery and wide-ranging descriptive information with the objective of discussing Mrs. Mallard's oppressive life and the new shreds of hope she is enjoying.

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Notably, this work will seek to extend our knowledge on some of the few symbols or things that stood out in the story such as the comfortable chair, the open window as well as the blue sky (McManus). Therefore, what makes the "Story of an Hour" to be interesting is the feature of using symbolism to pass the information to the audience by developing mental pictures. Firstly the door to her room symbolizes her mentality and her soul's inner sanctuary. She retires to her room and locks herself in there. This makes her sister peep through the keyhole and pleads with her to open the door.

That door symbolizes her private opinions and the ability for her to worry about herself only and no other people in her life. It gives her the power to act on her feelings without being sympathetic to the interests and needs of others. The front door symbolizes the communal world that she lives in. it is this door that Richard and Josephine use to enter the house and also it's the same door by which her husband presumably enters the house with. It is the society that places obligations on her with either kind motive or cruel motive. The fact that her husband has a key to this door displays his proprietorship upon her life i.e. the ability of Mr Mallard to impose his will on her.

The open window in this story represents the years of opportunity that Mrs Mallard has ahead of her life. Mrs Mallard opens out her arms to welcome those years that will now belong to her wholly. In addition, the open window represents the freedom and good luck that has now befallen her. Her scrutiny of the blue sky, clouds, treetops, and the sweet breath of rain signify her new found inner prosperity. The authors' use of language is fair because it displays Mrs Mallard's true feelings. By seizing all the senses the symbolism used represents her new life and displays her as an all-around character. The open window provides an unambiguous and bright view into the distance of her own distant future which was blocked by the desires of her husband.

In conclusion, when a reader decodes or interprets the symbols used in this work for their hidden meanings, a person can understand the way Chopin enhanced her story as well as provided the reader with a good feeling of wellness and comfort. The three symbols discussed in this work develop the basis where one can begin understanding the message or the themes behind Chopin's text. Thus, a majority of symbol applied in this story is used to represent the happiness and freedom that Mrs Mallard has been wishing for in her entire marriage and maybe even throughout her life. The writer strengthens the theme of the story through the use of symbolism by illustrating the feelings and the experiences of the character. This implies that the technique of applying symbol in "The Story of an Hour" played a critical role in discussing essential themes through carrying out a detailed imaginary image to the readers. More so, Chopin has applied multiple symbolic instances with the intention of analyzing Mrs Mallard's mixed reactions as a result of the unexpected death of her husband.

Works Cited

"A Summary and Analysis of Kate Chopin's 'The Story of an Hour'." Interesting Literature, 6 Apr. 2017, www.interestingliterature.com/2017/04/06/a-summary-and-analysis-of-kate-chopins-the-story-of-an-hour/. Accessed on 14 May 2018

McManus, Dermot. "The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin." The Sitting Bee, 4 Sept. 2014, www.sittingbee.com/the-story-of-an-hour-kate-chopin/. Accessed on 14 May 2018

Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. The Story of an Hour-Kate Chopin. 1894, pp. 1-3.

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