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Chopin Uses Imagery And Descriptive Detail To Contrast The Rich Possibilities For Which Mrs. Mallard Yearns With The Drab Reality Of Her Everyday Life

650 words - 3 pages

Chopin Uses Imagery And Descriptive Detail To Contrast The Rich Possibilities For Which Mrs. Mallard Yearns With The Drab Reality Of Her Everyday Life

Crystal Deese

South University Online

Chopin Uses Imagery And Descriptive Detail To Contrast The Rich Possibilities For Which Mrs. Mallard Yearns With The Drab Reality Of Her Everyday Life

“The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin embodies the plight of a woman’s oath to her husband and the sacrifice of her own independence. Chopin uses vivid imagery from weather, to state-of-mind, to season, to props, to emphasize the contrast between possibilities for which Mrs. Mallard yearns and the drab reality of her daily life.

In the story, Mrs. Mallard has just found out the news of her husband’s death. Initially, Mrs. Mallard felt a “storm of grief,” symbolizing the internal feelings that were raging through her; however, as she sits in her ...view middle of the document...

” This imagery reflects how excited she has become and how dramatically her outlook has changed. Not due to the loss of her husband, but at the comprehension that she was now “free, free, free” from the repression of her past and could finally begin living her life for herself, the way she chooses to live it.

She sat “facing the open window, in a comfortable, roomy armchair.” This imagery symbolizes her glimpse into her newfound freedom and her being able to relax like she never has been able to in the past. As she sits there gazing out the window she can see the “tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life” and she breathes in a “delicious breath of rain.” The reference to spring life is symbolic of birth and new beginning, just like she now has a new outlook and fresh start to her life. The imagery of her breathing in rain is a symbolic suggestion that she is allowing the acceptance of her husband’s death and her feelings of happiness to wash over her.

Mrs. Mallard “arose at length” from her chair and opened the door to her room. The symbolic imagery of her rising slowly from her chair shows her resistance to leave her room, wanting to relish in her happiness and solitude a while longer. As she “descended the stairs,” the imagery suggests the decline of her freedom. This imagery is supported when “someone was opening the front door with a latchkey,” Mr. Mallard walks through the front door and with a “piercing cry,” Mrs. Mallard died.

In the beginning of the story Mrs. Mallard is distressed by the death of her husband. As she begins to understand the implication of her husband’s death on her life, her feelings begin to change. She realizes that she is now free to live the life she chooses, free from repression. She becomes happy and enthusiastic about life until her husband comes home and she dies from the sight of him. Chopin’s story, from beginning to end, can be summed up in one word “free.” To be “free” is to stand against repression and enjoy personal rights and liberties. When mans freedom is taken away, he might as well be dead, because even if he is physically alive, inside his soul, he is still dead.

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