The short story “the story of an hour” is a literary piece by Kate Chopin. The story begins at high momentum as Mrs. Mallard’s husband has passed away. Friends and relatives are cautious to tell her of the news because she has a heart condition. Mrs. Mallard takes the news hard and goes through the motions of mourning and eventually accepting her husband’s death. Then suddenly, the husband shows up at the door unaware of the unfolding events in the house. Mrs. Mallard is shocked and her weak heart gives in and the dies. The Story has a fast placed plot that elicits a mirage of emotions that readers have to keep up with. For instance, it is a sad and somber mood with the news of Mr. Mallard’s death. Suddenly, there is shock and disbelief with the entry of Mr. Mallard to the house.
The short story has a plot that covers the basic elements of a plot. The story begins with the exposition which marks the beginning of the story. Readers meet the main characters of the story who are Mrs. Mallard (who has a heart condition), Josephine (Mrs. Mallard’s sister), Richard (Mr. Mallard’s friend), and Mr. Mallard (who has apparently just passed away). The characters, except Mr. Mallard are all in the house as they break the devastating news to Mrs. Mallard. It is also at the exposition where readers are introduced to the conflict. In the short story, the main conflict involves Mrs. Mallard reaction to the news of her husband’s death. Mr. Mallard has passed away, and Josephine and Richards have the task of breaking the news to Mrs. Mallards. The second stage is rising action where readers are taken through Mrs. Mallard’s emotional reactions. “She wept at once, with sudden wild abandonment, into her sister’s arms” (Chopin, 1894). She rushes to her room and appears to whirl in the emotions arising from the loss.
The author employs descriptive styles where she describes the surroundings of Mrs. Millard. The author taps into the reader’s sense of sight, smell, and hearing. The author writes “the delicious breath of rain was in the air (Chopin, 1894). The author also indicates “a peddler was crying his wares and countless sparrows were twittering in the eaves.” It is almost as if Mrs. Mallard removes herself from her current situation and focuses on the world around her. The third stage of a plot is the climax which marks the turning point of the story. In the story, Mrs. Mallard is engulfed in grief, but as she leaves her room, Mr. Mallard shows up at the door oblivious to the events in his house.
The emergence of Mr. Mallard is the turning point of the story as all the characters, and the readers assumed he was dead. There is a sense of confusion and astonishments to the new development. At one moment, there is a sudden change of emotions. All characters were grieving at one moment while in the next moment, there is a sense o shock. Readers can’t help but question “what went wrong?” The situations could not have been any worse considering Mrs. Mallard’s heart conditions and the potential risk the news may have on her. The falling action of the narration is when Josephine reacts at the sight of his brother-in-law as well as Richard’s attempt at shielding Mr. Mallard from the view of his wife. Readers can also most visualize the action and events as it emerges that Richards was too haste in revealing the sad news to the family. The resolution of the story is the death of Mrs. Mallard. The author does not detail the events leading to the death of Mrs. Mallard, but it obvious that the shock upon the sight of her husband resulted in her death. The author writes “when the doctors came they said she died of heart diseases-of joy that kills (Chopin, 1894).” From the statement, it is possible to tell that Mrs. Mallard was shocked at the sight of her husband. After the shock, she became over-excited that her husband was alive thus resulting in a probable heart attack.
The plot of the story takes readers through a wave of emotions as the characters experience difference situations. It starts with the mood of sorrow upon the news of Mr. Mallard’s death. Later, readers are astounded to realize that Mr. Mallard is not dead. It could have been good news for the family had Mrs. Mallard not died. Kate Chopin presents a thought out storyline that outlines a plot that tells a short but detailed story while engaging readers in the narration. The plot ensures that the storyline flows from the beginning to the end. Readers are introduced to the characters and the unfolding situation at the beginning of the story. The author allows the readers to experience the story by use of descriptive devices.
Chopin, K. (1894). The story of an hour. Norton Intro to Literature: Portable Edition: 12th ISBN: 9780393938937.
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