The Story of an Hour Essay

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In the following excerpt, Ewell analyzes "The Story of an Hour," noting in particular the dramatic tension caused by the shift in point of view towards the end of the story.

... ."The Story of an Hour" recounts Louise Mallard's unexpected response to the reported death of her husband, Brently, in a train accident. Grieving alone in her room, she slowly recognizes that she has lost only chains: '"Free! Body and soul free!' she kept whispering." Then when her husband suddenly reappears, the report of his death a mistake, she drops dead at the sight of him—of "heart disease," the doctors announce, "of joy that kills."

Chopin's handling of details illustrates how subtly she manages this controversial material. Louise Mallard's heart disease, for example, the key to the final ironies and ambiguities, is introduced in the first sentence, like the loaded gun of melodrama.

But her...

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This section contains 729 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Story of an Hour Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Story of an Hour from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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