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Contrast and imaginery? - Literary Essay on Kate Chopin's "The Story Of An Hour"

ChristySW 3 / 2  
Apr 9, 2008   #1

I am in need of a little help in writing this essay. My assignment for this essay is to analyze the story and write about how Chopin uses imagery and descriptive detail to contrast what Mrs. Mallard truly desires compared to the reality of her everyday life. I have analyzed the story and I comprehend what it is about. However, I am having a bit of trouble getting started on the contrast of imagery. Any examples or ideas would be much appreciated!

EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
Apr 10, 2008   #2

The reality of Mrs. Mallard's everyday life is not given to us as directly as the imagery describing that fateful spring day. But the implications are clear: despite a life of outward comfort (implied by trappings such as "a comfortable, roomy armchair") she is constrained, oppressed, confined in a stultifying life that allows her no freedom. Contrast that reality with the almost fanciful descriptions of the spring outside her window: "tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life. The delicious breath of rain ...The notes of a distant song which someone was singing" and "countless sparrows ... twittering in the eaves." Outside her normal, everyday life is a virtual fairyland of beauty. With her husband's passing, she feels the possibility, for the first time, that she can join that world. "There were patches of blue sky showing here and there through the clouds that had met and piled one above the other in the west facing her window." She feels the clouds lifting from her own life, as well.

I hope this helps get you started!


Sarah, EssayForum.com
OP ChristySW 3 / 2  
Apr 10, 2008   #3
Thanks so much! I was a bit confused on how to do the contrasting. This will be a great help!

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