Summary of Story of an Hour

Audience Analaysis I am writing this paper to be reviewed by my fellow peers and my English 111 Instructor. The paper would not be very interesting if read by anyone that has not read “The Story of an Hour. ’ The audience that I am targeting is for those that would like to know the purpose of the short story, “ The Story of an Hour”, written by Kate Chopin. I believe the story to not be intended for s specific age or gender, but I would have to say that women would be more prone to understanding and sympathizing with the story. I expect the reader to understand the story deals with the pro’s and cons of marriage.

I was able to understand the story due to my experiences in marriage, the up and downs that go along with it. I can relate to the feeling of relief when something that is not making you happy suddenly disappears, how extremely happy you can be, but when the good news turns in to being devastating news, how it can turn your world upside down, that it could cause you to have health problems. The Story of an Hour Author Kate Chopin, grabs her audience’s attention in this short story by introducing the main character, Mrs. Mallard; a woman with “heart trouble. (Chopin 527) who must be gently told the news of her husband’s untimely death in a railroad accident. The opening marks a sad scene with Josephine, her sister breaking the difficulty news to her in “broken sentences. ” (Chopin 527) Mrs. Mallard’s reaction, “wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment in her sisters arms” (Chopin 527) may be unlike most wives reaction to horrifying, unexpected news. Seemingly grief stricken, Mrs. Mallard retreats to her room in solitude. She drops her heavy body into a comfortable chair contemplating her feelings of the past, present, and future.

Mrs. Mallard struggles with mostly internal conflicts with regards to her true feelings of the recent death of Brently her husband. One example, being when she repeatedly whispers from her lips “Free! Body and soul Free! ” (Chopin 528) Her sister begs her to come out of the room “Louise, open the door! I beg; open the door—you will make yourself ill. ” (Chopin 528) She orders her to go away but within a good length of time reveals her strong self and accept Josephine’s comfort. Suddenly, a man comes through the front door. It is her husband, Brently, alive and well.

To everyone’s surprise it was, and especially to his wife. She dies there of what the doctors say was “heart disease—a joy that kills. ” (Chopin 529) Once Mrs. Mallard hears of her spouse death, her behavior and internal feelings may or may not be questionable to the reader. I believe Chopin wants us to see the main character’s internal emotional struggle. This keeps us wanting to know more about what life was like with Brently Mallard. Was she really sorrowful about his death? “And yet she had loved him—sometimes. ” (Chopin 528) Was she truly a happy person, heart and soul? She was young, with a fair, calm face, whose lines be spoke repression and even a certain strength. ” (Chopin 527) t times she is overcome by a mixture of emotions such as sadness, quiet, and yes even joy. “She did not stop to ask if it were not a monstrous joy that held her. ” (Chopin 528) Mrs. Mallard finally settles in the belief and thought of being on her own now. “She would live for herself. ” (Chopin 528) After reading “The Story of an Hour’, I realize that the man character is a lonely woman when it comes to her emotions. The whole story reminds me of what a woman goes through when she is controlled by her spouse.

Mrs. Mallard doesn’t even have a first name in the story, only her descriptive emotions that she holds deep inside. Through out this story the author uses symbolism. For example, “there were patches of blue sky showing here and there through the clouds. ” (Chopin 527) I think the clouds represent disparity and the blue parts of the sky meant hope for her. The big open window is her life’s picture window! She sees “new spring life” (Chopin 527) and takes in a “delicious breath of rain.