The Storm The Story of an Hour
Kate Chopin

English 2238


In The Story of an Hour, Kate Chopin uses a lot of symbolism and irony. In this story, Mrs. Mallard dies of a heart disease, shortly after she is led to believe that her husband is dead and immediately after she physically sees him walking through the door. When Mrs. Mallard is told that her husband is dead, she kind of pulls away from everyone and shuts herself out. She starts to say “Free! Free! Free!” As well as “Free! Body and soul free!” What exactly does that mean? Free from having to be a wife to Brently Mallard, or maybe it’s her freeing his soul. At the end of the story when she dies of a heart disease, is it in fact a heart attack or does she die because of a broken relationship? The story is also set in the spring, which could mean new beginning. Symbolism played a big role in this story because it helps us read and interpret the story, and allows us to use more of our imagination.

In The Storm, Chopin writes this story using irony throughout it. What blew my mind is this: here there is a man, Alcee, who is married to a woman named Chlarisse. While Chlarisse is out of town in Biloxi with their baby, Alcee stays home. Alcee then decides to write to her AFTER he makes a move on another woman who goes by the name of Calixta, who is also married to someone else! This story was full of drama, and love triangle added to it. The fact that Alcee was such a smooth talker, really tests Chlarisse and the position that she is in. From what I gathered from the story, Calixta is missing passion from her marriage. It seems as though the romance and intensity of what love can be just died.

Both of these stories have mystery to them. Both Calixta and Mrs. Mallard are both having a difficult time with their marriage. While Mrs. Mallard is is glad because she is “free” of her marriage, Calixta just wants to feel loved again. She didn’t hesitate when Alcee kissed her, which means that she, in a way, wanted that to happen. Both of these women are unhappy with they’re marriage, for whatever reason it may be, and we now know that they would much rather be either alone or with someone else.