Kate Chopin's Short Stories

Springtime Imagery in The Story of an Hour College

In “The Story of an Hour”, Kate Chopin uses powerful imagery to allow the reader to feel Mrs. Mallard’s true emotions. Visuals in a story can provide an enormous amount of information about a character. What the character sees out a window can tell us their perspective on how they view the world. Imagery helps the reader put themselves in that character’s shoes. The descriptive details allow us to fully experience the story being told. By experiencing what the character feels, important themes can be revealed. One of the main themes in “The Story of an Hour” is the theme of freedom. This is clear through Mrs. Mallard’s repetition of “Free, free, free” under her breath but is also seen through Chopin’s use of imagery in a less direct way. In Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour”, the image of the “delicious rain” and “quivering trees with new spring life” both work together to bring out the theme of a new beginning.

After hearing the news of her husband’s death, Mrs. Mallard weeps uncontrollably and proceeds to lock herself in her room. Although she is quite emotional, this is the type of reaction you would expect from a new widow. She sits down in her chair and was “pressed down by a physical exhaustion that haunted her body and...

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