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TheStory of an Hour

Authorsof literary work have always employed stylistic devices to pass theirmessage, Kate

Chopinwas no exception. She employs a number of styles in her book, thestory of an Hour.

Justlike any author she achieves storytelling in a simple and straightforward manner. Some of

thestylistic devices she uses are: description, internal monologue,authorial intrusion contrast,

figurativeexpressions, symbolism among others.

Thispaper discusses the use of stylistic features in passing the messageto the readers, with

considerationsto the plot, the themes present and how each was achieved. Forinstance,

descriptionsdominate the whole passage. The paper seeks to examine itssignificance to the

wholedevelopment of the story.


Katedecisively uses description to pass her message to the intendedaudience much to the

understandingof it without much struggle. The reaction of Mrs. Mallard wascaptured as vivid

aspossible. her heart failure and the response to shock, the physicaland mental challenges

peoplewith heart failure go through. In her second paragraph for example,Kate captures the

imageof the place the news was broken, the people involved, theirparticipation and roles. As

themajor character, the author achieves great by explaining how evensympathy can

sometimeskill the entire mood of a heart failure victim. This is how shearrests the emotions is a

simplebut compelling style. Her husband`s friend Richards was there, too,near her. It was he

whohad been in the newspaper office when intelligence of the railroaddisaster was received,

withBrantley Mallard`s name leading the list of &quotkilled.&quot Hehad only taken the time to assure

himselfof its truth by a second telegram, and had hastened to forestall anyless careful, less

tenderfriend in bearing the sad message (Chopin) .

Tofurther explain how Chopin achieves description and manages keepingthe readers glued to

herstory, she inserts the roles played by some of the characters. In asimplified and clear way,

shetakes the readers through what Mrs. Mallards husband`s friend, Mr.Richard broke the news

firstafter reading the newspaper on the deadly rail accident that claimedlives of, among others,

Mr.Mallard. Thus, the sadistic mood and the theme of death areintroduced. This is what is

calledpersonal transaction in the writing world (Zinsser). He furthercontinued to say that good

writing has aliveness that keeps the reader reading. This is exactly whatKate does in expressing



Justlike any fiction writer, Kate employs figurative language to make herstory relevant, simple

andconversant to most readers. She uses a number of expressions toconvey the sorrowful

messagein a clear way. In the expression the storm of grief, Kate tellsreaders that the emotional

traumaMrs. Mallard underwent was heartbreaking as the storm. speaking ofthe characteristics

ofthe storm, violence, terror, unexpected invasion and shock are theemotions that comes out.

Further,this brings in another style, use of metaphors. The storm is ametaphor used to describe

violentand terror situations as expressed earlier in the characteristics ofthe storm. While writers

differin their choice of figurative language, writers like Kate valuedfigurative language in her

novel,the story of one hour. To install variety into her writing, Kate usesyet author expression

todescribe the response of different people to sad news. In referencetoMrs. Mallard, Kate

detailshow different she received the death of her husband by comparing herwith other women.

Shesays that Mallard received the news with a paralyzed inability toaccept its significance.

(Zinsser).Speaking of the paralyzed inability to accept significance, Katemeant that she took the

newswith lots of disbelief, denial and disunity. The emotional stressthat comes with the loss of

aloved one is always denial and disbelief. This context is captured inseveral writing guides.


Useof symbols to pass the message is a style all creative writersembrace to pass their message.

Kateis no exception. She uses several symbols to depict the characters ofthe main Mrs. Mallard.

Newsprig life for instance is a season in the year when things are notgoing right with many

weatherforecasters. The spring of life here shows life of seclusion ordesperation and wishing to

stayalone and away from either neighbors or close friends. Normally, afeeling similar to this

getsinto many bereaved peoples kinsmen. Mallard for instance lost a closefriend, a husband she

adoredand a soul mate with which she shared all her sorrows. In what can bedescribed as an

emotionalarrest and detention, mallard felt imprisoned to a world withoutmercy. Unable to

dismissthe feeling, she cried free! Free!


Internalmonologue is often described as a situation where the character talksto oneself. The

mentionof the words free body, free souls are the words Mallard whispers asshe comes to terms

withthe loss of her beloved husband. The author therefore uses thisfeature of style to explain the

themesof loss and death alike. The nursing of remorseful feeling, thefeelings of depression and

stressis what leads to internal monologue. As much as the device is used toconvey the message

tothe readers, Kate uses it deliberately to demonstrate the degree ofsorrow the character goes

through.Internal monologue, which is called soliloquy in plays, is as wellused as vividly as

Kateuses it in the story of one hour by William Shakespeare. Shakespeareuses the device in his

book,the merchant of Venice. Here Gratian, one of the characters is seentalking to himself in

unclearcircumstance. As such he is labeled a talking a great deal of nothingby his friends.



Mostwriters opt to use similes to pass their messages. However, thesimiles they use vary from

authorto author. Kate uses similes in the effect that came with the deathof Mallards husband in

atragic train accident. She uses a few details to tell the events thattook place when mallards

sisterenters the room where Mallard had locked herself in like a goddess ofvictory, the simile

thatis used tells of the confidence that Mallard had gained when hersister enter the room. A new

formof comfort ozone in. her varied experience in use of similes matchesthat of David Baldacci

.Baldacci describes how the attorney looked at Jarson Archers wifelike a piece of meat (Baldacci)


Describesas the addition of the authors voice to the development of the plotin a book, authorial

intrusionalways gives the author the freedom to explore the topic with skill, brevity and less

clutteredsentences. Here he give the details of the events which only thereader can see not the

actorsin a situation described as dramatic irony. In this aspect, thereader is treated to more soup

ofthe missing details from the voice of the characters. Further, thecharacter traits of most

charactersget noticed early. In her book, the story of one hour, Kate managesto take readers

throughthe traumatic experiences Mallard undergoes till she resigns todeath. Of particular

interestis the way she describes the innocence of the husband who mallard hadbeen told died in

anaccident. He was away from the incident but the news that had reachedhis family had already

killedhis wife. The cardiac victim. Kate`s authorial intrusion fits intowhat other writers calls

clearcollection of thoughts into a compelling story. To be effective, aStory has to be more than

aloosely assembled collection of facts (Kelly Leiter). This isexactly what Kate does in telling

herstory through her lens in at is called authorial intrusion.


Baldacci,David. Total control. Warner Books , Inc, 1997.

Chopin,Kate. The Story of one Hour. world text, 1894.

KellyLiter, Julian Harris and Stanley Johnson. The Complete Reporter. newYork: Abacon publishers, 2000.

Shakespeare,William. the Merchant of Venice. Macmillan, 2006.

Zinsser,William. On Writing Well. Harper Perennial, 2006.