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Analysis of the Story of an Hour

Essay by   •  March 15, 2011  •  Essay  •  403 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,056 Views

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This short story grabbed my attention from the moment I finished the first sentence to the end of the story. During the first few paragraphs I thought that she was very depressed and saddened from hearing about her husbands death. Of course as soon as she whispers the words "free, free, free!" I knew that she felt happy about her husband's death. I detect that no one else knew of these feelings of contempt for husband but herself, or she would not have kept these feelings inside of herself.

In the fifth paragraph, after just being told of her husband's death, she is very descriptive of everything that she sees at that moment, as if she wants to remember every detail of this moment. But why would one point out "delicious breath of rain," "notes of a distant song," and "sparrows were twittering in the eaves" at the time of their spouse's death? When I think of these things that she is describing they are happy scenes, scenes of serenity. This was my first clue that there was more going on in this story than just someone who lost her husband.

Throughout the story you get the feeling from the wife that she was probably controlled by her husband and that their marriage was not a happy one at all. "The kind, tender hands folded in death"; this statement shocked me at first when I read it. Because I didn't get the impression from her other comments that he was a kind and tender man, as a matter of fact I thought the exact opposite of him. But her next statement--"... the face that had never looked save with love upon her, fixed and gray and dead"--this was more of how I pictured this man to be. The words that she uses to describe him are very strong-- "fixed," "gray," "dead"--these words are very harsh. It was in the next couple paragraphs of her describing her freedom that I began to feel very happy for her that he was out of her life.

I think that it was very ironic for them to use the word "joy" in the last sentence of this story, because it was actual joy that she felt when she realized her husband was dead, and pain so great that killed her when she saw him walk through the door.

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