The Setting Essay

1304 words - 6 pages

“The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin represents a negative view of marriage by presenting the reader with a woman who is clearly overjoyed that her husband has died. This is expressed through the language in “The Story of an Hour” (click for full plot summary) by Kate Chopin used to describe Louise’s emotions as she oscillates between numbness and extreme joy at her newfound freedom. The narrator of “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin relates what she observes in simple prose, but when her emotions are described, the words are vibrant and powerful. This suggests that Louis has a deep inner-life that is not connected to the outside world of her husband or friends and the fact ...view middle of the document...

” Her own feelings of love in return are also minimally described and it is clear that she does not share his sentiments. The narrator relates in one of the quotes from “Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin, “And yet she loved him—sometimes. Often she did not.” This kind if simple and direct language is used only to describe the things Louise is not emotional about, thus the bare language would indicate—just as much as the actual words themselves do—that she did not have any strong feelings for her husband. As the thesis statement for this essay on “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin makes clear, the language constructs the reader’s understanding of her character.

When Louise’s emotions are described regarding something she is thrilled about, the language becomes lively and rich with color and vibrant images. This stands in sharp contrast to the sections in which she seems indifferent or emotionally unattached. For instance, in the above citation which begins with the very simple statement in one of the quotes from “Story of an Hour”, “And yet she loved him—sometimes. Often she did not” which demonstrates emotional passivity, but as the short paragraph continues and her true emotions come to the forefront, the language comes alive along with her character. The clipped line above is followed by, “What did it matter! What could love, the unsolved mystery, count for in the face of this possession of self-assertion which she suddenly recognized as the strongest impulse of her being!” It is important to notice not only the language comes to life with the use of words like “mystery,” “possession,” and “impulse” but the very phrasing changing. The initial emotions portrayed in these quotes from “The Story of an Hour” (click for full plot summary) by Kate Chopin in which she was passive about are short tidy sentences, but as soon as she begins to feel an emotion, the sentences expand and the whole of one massive thought about “her being” becomes one very long sentence to stand in contrast to the previous one.

This happens again a few paragraphs before this instance when she is speaking in one of the quotes about the strain and crippling “disease” of marriage. When her emotions become overwhelming, so do the sentences and language. “There would be no one to live for in those coming years; she would live for herself” begins the paragraph. There are no lively words, just a matter of fact, unemotional statement without the slightest hint of sadness. In fact, almost as though she suddenly realizes again that she doesn’t need to be...

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