Point of View in Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” Report
Updated: Dec 28th, 2020
The story of an hour by Kate Chopin is built using the classic rules of plot structure. The exposition is the news about Brently Mallard’s death. The complication is how his wife reacts to the situation and how she begins to feel free and happy even though she should feel sorrow. The climax of the story is Brently Mallard’s return home and the situation when Mrs. Mallard cries. There is no falling action in the story as the resolution is presented immediately – Mrs. Mallard is dead because of a heart attack.
The point of view in the story is categorized as the third person limited omniscient as the story-teller is not the participant of the events which take place and is aware of the thoughts of Mrs. Mallard. It should be mentioned that the point of view through the story changes. When Mrs. Mallard is told that her husband is killed in an accident, she “wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister’s arms” (Chopin, 2006, p. 352).
When she entered her room, her feelings and attitude to the husband’s death changed as she whispered “free, free, free!” (Chopin, 2006, p. 353). Thus, a deep grieve has changed with the inner feeling of satisfaction and joy for the free future.
Reading the story, I followed Mrs. Mallard’s reaction and my opinion about her marriage and her husband changed with the change of the point of view. These changes showed me that the first impression was wrong when I thought that she loved her husband and suffered because of his death. The changes of the point of view are closely related to the story theme and content, as with the help of those changes it is possible to predict that Mrs. Mallard died not because she was so happy to see her husband, but because she understood that her dreams of freedom were ruined.
Chopin, K. (2006). The story of an hour. The complete works of Kate Chopin. Baton Rouge: LSU Press.
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