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Springtime Imagery in The Story of an Hour


In “The Story of an Hour”, Kate Chopin utilizes effective images to allow the reader to feel Mrs. Mallard’s true emotions. Visuals in a story can provide a massive amount of info about a character. What the character sees out a window can inform us their point of view on how they view the world. Images assists the reader put themselves in that character’s shoes. The descriptive details enable us to completely experience the story being told. By experiencing what the character feels, important styles can be exposed. One of the primary styles in “The Story of an Hour” is the theme of freedom. This is clear through Mrs. Mallard’s repeating of “Free, totally free, free” under her breath but is likewise translucented Chopin’s use of images in a less direct way. In Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour”, the image of the “delicious rain” and “shuddering trees with brand-new spring life” both collaborate to highlight the style of a new beginning.

After hearing the news of her partner’s death, Mrs. Mallard weeps uncontrollably and continues to lock herself in her room. Although she is rather psychological, this is the type of reaction you would expect from a brand-new widow. She sits down in her chair and was “pushed down by a physical exhaustion that haunted her body and seemed to reach her soul”(Paragraph 3). Then she decides to watch out her window and, “She might see in the open square before her home the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the brand-new spring life”(Paragraph 4). This line is really crucial as spring is connected with a clean slate. Instead of feeling her life is over after the passing of her spouse, she feels it is just starting. Spring represents renewal and birth. Mrs.Mallard is starting to feel this sense of flexibility and recognizes what her spouse’s death suggests for her life. Winter season has now died, and spring has actually lastly arrived. Winter is normally associated with seclusion or unhappiness, which are feelings that Mrs. Mallard most likely felt in her marital relationship. After a long and terrible winter, Mrs. Mallard is lastly seeing the charm within the world as she keeps an eye out the window and sees her brand-new life ahead of her. The open window provides a clear, bright view into the range and Mrs. Mallard’s intense future, which is now unobstructed by the demands of another person. As Mrs. Mallard starts to finally see the world as it is, losing her hubby is not an excellent loss even an opportunity to move beyond the “blind persistence” of the bondage of marital relationships back then. Mrs. Mallard reaches her conclusions of independence through the environment, the imagery of which symbolically associates Mrs. Mallard’s private awakening with the start of life in the spring season.

The next line in the story strengthens the style of a new beginning. After taking a look at the “trembling trees”, Mrs. Mallard states that “The delicious breath of rain was in the air.” Since Chopin mixes senses by utilizing a word typically connected with taste to describe living (“breath”), her word choice is likewise an example of synesthesia, which mixes sensory images. More notably, rain is normally seen as a sign of sadness or sorrow. By providing Mrs. Mallard a favorable reaction to the “delicious breath of rain”, it changes the reader’s viewpoint on the story. Mrs. Mallard’s minute of sorrow quickly passes as her outlook on life changes as she beings in her space and thinks about her future. When she understands her newly found independence and all that it requires, she feels as if she is beginning life anew. Instead of rain being a symbol of unhappiness and grieving for her spouse, it works as a cleaning. A cleaning that removes her past life and provides her a fresh start. She is now totally free, free to live her life the way she pleases without needing to solution to anybody not even her other half.

These lines together function as the first clues to the reader to show that there is more going on in the story than just somebody who has lost their partner. Although they are 2 brief sentences, the images they produce assists the reader feel the experience that Mrs. Mallard is going through. They are essential sentences where the mood shifts from mourning death to the prospect of a new beginning. As she sits in her comfortable chair, looking out her window, dark clouds part to reveal the blue sky, and the promise of rain likewise brings the “new spring life” that she sees in the trees. Springtime images offers a sense of renewal that underlines Chopin’s idea that Mrs. Mallard is on a journey to a new life.

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