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 "killed." 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.