The Story of an Hour Essay | Examining Symbols in Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour"

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Examining Symbols in Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour"

Summary: In Kate Chopin's short story "The Story of an Hour," Mrs. Mallard reacts unusually to hearing the news that her husband has died. Chopin uses symbolism throughout the story to help show the degree of Mrs. Mallard's emotional journey during the next hour, which ends with her husband walking through the door.
Death is considered the ultimate loss and sadness to all family and friends of the deceased. In many cases this is true, but not in Kate Chopin's short story "The Story of an Hour." This story portrays Mrs. Mallard's very unusual reaction to the gloomy situation. Kate Chopin uses symbolism to help show Mrs. Mallard's emotional change during the hour of learning her husband's dead.

The first line of Kate's story mentions that Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with heart trouble (772). Heart trouble can symbolize emotional weakness as well as the obvious physical weakness. The word afflicted was not only used just to inform that Mrs. Mallard has heart problems, but that it was an almost torturing result of distress and suffering. From this the reader can tell that Mrs. Mallard is depressed even before hearing the news.

The telegram symbolizes...

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This section contains 804 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Student Essay on Examining Symbols in Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour"
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