Story of an Hour – Essay Example

The paper "Story of an Hour" is a wonderful example of an essay on literature. Opening in a grave tone, Chopin introduces the protagonist of the story, Louise Mallard, about to receive the tragic news of her husband’s death. As she takes in the news, the reaction that overcame her was shown to be peculiar than what is expected from most women who learn of their better half’s death. “She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance. She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment” (Chopin, par. 3). In a third person omniscient point of view focused on the main character of the story Mrs. Mallard, the writer allowed the reader to experience the text with the other characters as co-observers in the unveiling of Mrs. Mallard’s fate in an hour. The flat characters of the story, Josephine and Richards are agitated. In the living room, the two broke the news, fearful of her inherent vulnerable physical condition. It was the beginning of spring and the airy and homey feel of the house contrasts the news of Mr. Mallard’s death. Conveniently, a comfortable armchair is set that became the refuge where Mrs. Mallard fell into and cried (or at the very least tried). The reader is acquainted with Mrs. Mallard, a fragile, unsteady but invariably strong-willed character and her story behind the aesthetic story. The short story in the subtlest possible way conveys a deeper tale that presents itself in forms of marital woes and maybe even domestic violence. A loveless marriage conjured and perpetuated for the sake of a show of longevity. This is the story of a woman’s subservience and passivity toward male dominance especially common in a marriage. Mrs. Mallard, a housewife, who is now within the grasped of her freedom thru her husband’s death. With the use of insinuating devices, Chopin depicts Brentley Mallard as the antagonist, responsible for the circumstance and outlook of Louise Mallard. She is quite perceptibly the round character in the story. From the delicate almost breakable and yet with stoic cynicism outlook, she is transformed into an optimistic anticipatory character. From someone confounded by the grueling hours that seems like an eternity, she becomes a woman filled with verve and expectancy for what the future holds for her. A life she can live for herself. As she peers into the window, with her sister misconstrued by the thought she was morose and grieving, she sees the opportunity the world now holds for her. “Louise open the door…you will make yourself ill” (Chopin, par. 15). Her sister bangs on the door, filled with concern, while she is inside the room occupied with her exuberance. The twittering sparrows account for a primary symbol in the story. The number of birds as Mrs. Mallard saw in the eaves symbolizes her yearning for freedom beyond the walls of their house. Sparrows in literature are regarded with the characteristic of being lewd. This could even translate to lust and sparrows are common symbols in Greek literature and mythology. Aphrodite is often associated with this common bird (Ferber 198). Freedom was the climax of the story, the climax that led to the denouement which interestingly enough is her death. The fictional irony that sets ‘The Story of an Hour’ is delightfully and (from a feminist point of view) regrettably written so. His death became her freedom, her freedom became her death. A joyous heart attack.