The Story of an Hour
1. There are many themes in The Story of An Hour; ‘heart trouble’ – which describes not only the physical affliction of Mrs Mallard but also the emotional suffering in her marriage. Three other themes that are prominent within this story are; death, freedom and oppression. Though, the themes of freedom and oppression can be seen as the main themes within this story, as we see the character of Mrs Mallard – a Mallard is a type of wild duck, which can be seen as being symbolic of her need to be free and to live for herself – struggle to cope with the apparent death of her husband. ‘She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment’, until she was alone in her room where ...view middle of the document...
2. The story of an hour is told through the a 3rd person, omniscient narrator. The exposition provides information of the afflicted ‘heart trouble’ that the main character Mrs Mallard deals with and her husband's apparent death, and this sets the melancholy tone for the story. There is little description of the setting in the exposition, as the narrator chooses to focus on the nature of how the news of the husband's death was received.
The rising action begins soon after Mrs Mallard is informed of the 'sad message' of her husband's death. She takes the news extremely hard and is described as weeping at once with, 'sudden, wild abandonment', room here the narration focuses on her dwelling on the loss of her husband and how she will cope without him.
As she sits alone in her room she begins to come to the realisation that there is no longer the need to feel depressed and she deals with the emotions of feeling free. The character of Mrs Mallard has very few phrases of direct speech. Two of them focus on her new sense of freedom, she repeatedly whispers to herself, ‘Free! Body soul free!'' which provides a joyous tone for the previously depressive narrative. The action here begins to fall, as she imagines the happiness she could achieve in the days ahead of her.
As she descends the stairs there is a look of 'triumph in her eyes', until there is a turn of a latchkey in the door and her dead husband walks in. This carries the tale into a rather ironic resolution point of the narrative, as the character that had just achieved a sense of liberty through her husband's apparent death was now sentenced to the harshest penalty, death. The death of Mrs Mallard is described as factored by the 'joy that kills', and it is only through the use of a 3rd person omniscient narrator that we are able to identify that she was actually victim to her heart trouble in the fact that she was devastated that her husband was still alive.
3. The story begins by introducing Mrs Mallard as a woman afflicted with ‘heart trouble', 'and this meant that great care had to be taken while she was informed of her husband’s death'.
The writer choosing to use the words heart trouble in place of illness or disease, which would have been more precisely...