Joined: Sep 11, 2008
Sep 28, 2008 - 01:01 PM
This is copyright of class 2B06 - Intro. Lit - Group 1: Ngọc Anh, Phương Thảo, Quốc Minh, Long Quốc, Thùy Nhiên and me. This is our presentation and also mid-term test. Thanks Ms. Lộc Hà so much b/c you gave us 10 marks. And this is a suitable result b/c we did make big effort for it. Here I just post the Word Document, I can't post Power point file b/c I don't have more free time. Now, let's enjoy it and I hope the next generation can consider it as a good materials for you in studying Intro. Lit.
THE STORY OF AN HOUR
I/ Biography of author:
- Kate Chopin (1851 – 1904) was born in St. Louis, Missouri, United State.
- She was the youngest of three children - the daughter of an Irish Catholic father ( Thomas O’Flaherty) and a French Creole mother (Eliza Faris).
- Her father die suddenly in 1855 when she was just 4 years old, and she was raised by her mother, her widowed-grandmother, and her widowed-great-grandmother. Kate Chopin was surrounded by these strong examples, and this might have been an influence on her writing her characteristic strong, and this might have an influence on her writing, her strong independent female characters.
- In 1870 Kate married Oscar Chopin who was a wealthy Creole cotton broker from Louisiana and they moved to New Orleans.
- Between the year 1871 and 1879 she played the role of dutiful wife and gave birth to 6 children in Louisiana.
- In 1879 financial difficulties forced the Chopins to move to Cloutierville, which was a tiny French settlement located in Natchitoches Parish located in Northwestern Louisiana
- In 1882 her husband Oscar died.
- In 1884 Kate and her 6 children moved back to her hometown of St. Louis Missouri. She began to write as an attempt to support herself and her children
- In the early 1890s, Chopin gained national recognition as an outstanding short-story writer.
- 1890 she published her first novel At Fault at her own expense.
- Throughout the 1890s, she published many short stories that appeared in national magazines such as Vogue, AtlanticMonthly, Century, and TheSaturdayEveningPost.
- In 1894 she published a collection of stories called Bayou Folk and then in 1897 published another collection called A Night in Acadie. Both of these collections began to establish her as a writer of local color fiction who also touched on themes of marriage, infidelity and del freedom.
- June 1897 - Kate began to write The Awakening and then completed it in January 1898.
The Awakening was published a year later in 1899 and was received with a lot of criticism . Although this novel won the respect of literary critics, its sympathetic treatment of a woman’s sensuality shocked readers and reviewers throughout the U.S.
- Her next collection of short stories was rejected by her publisher.
- Deeply hurt by the negative response to her work, Chopin wrote very little more. Her work remained virtually ignored until the 1960s.
- 1904 – Kate, on a visit to Louisiana, had a stroke and then died two days later.[br]
II/ “The story of an hour”:
- It was written on April 19, 1894, and first published in Vogue on December 6, 1894, under the title “The Dream of an Hour”. It was reprinted in St. Louis Life on January 5, 1895.
- This story was written in the last decade of the 19th Century when women’s right were limited. Most married women were considered to be the property of their husbands.
This short story is about an hour in the life of the main character, Mrs. Mallard. She is afflicted with a heart problem. Bad news has come about that her husband has died in a train accident. Her sister Josephine and Richard who is her husband's friend has to break the horrifying news to her as gently as possible. They both are concerned that the news may somehow put her in great danger with her health. Ironically, Mrs. Mallard reacts to the news with excitement. Even though the news is heartbreaking she is finally free from the depressing life she has lived before. She keeps whispering "Free! Body and soul free!". She now is happy because she doesn't have to live for anyone but herself now. At the end of the story, Mr. Mallard opens the door and is surprised by Josephine's cry. Mr. Mallard doesn’t have a faintest idea about the accident. With a quick motion, Richard tries to block Mr. Mallard's view of his wife but it is too late. The story ends with Mrs. Mallard’s death. The doctor says she dies of heart disease – of joy that kills.[br]
• Place: Louisiana, United States
• Time: nineteenth century, in only an hour.
• Social environment: In American society those days, women’s rights were limited. Most married women were considered to be the property of their husbands. Whether they are living happily is not cared for, and they just had to keep their fidelity. The typical, representing woman for this period is Josephine.
• Physical environment: (paragraphs 5, 6, 7,
- Nature: the sounds, the scents, and the color that filled the background of the story is the inspiration for Mrs.Mallard to overcome the prejudices and reach the desire for freedom and a bright future.
- The natural scenery also creates the atmosphere of the story: full of vitality.
- Mrs. Mallard is afflicted with a heart trouble, so she was carefully revealed the news of her husband’s death.
- Josephine and Richards broke the news to her as gently as possible
- She was sorrowful and stayed alone in her room.
- Looking out to the vigorous and gorgeous scenery through an open window, she gradually recovered her desire for freedom which had been buried under an unhappy marriage
- However, knowing that having such a joy right after the death of her husband was considered immoral those days, she tried to protest against her will to liberate herself.
She succeeded in fighting against unreasonable fetters and confidently liberated herself mentally and powerfully.
Her husband suddenly entered the house and stood in front of her.
• Resolution: closed, unhappy ending
She was so shocked at the returning of her husband that she died of a heart attack at once.
VI/ The intelligence of Mrs Mallard’s husband:
A heart trouble: Her heart trouble is not only a physical ailment, but it is also her mental problem. This also tells us something about her life in the last decade of 19th century, she had to suffer many things from society.
Note that this is the first thing we are told about her and how other people respond to her. Evidently this is – at least for those around her – an important part of who she is. “She was afflicted with a heart trouble” means that she can’t bear receiving a shocked information. The people around her think that she will collapse when she receives the news of her husband’s death.
This sentence is written in the passive voice, with a “hidden” subject in order to emphasize her heart trouble and give us some ideas about what will happen next.
This construction suggest about Mrs. Mallard’s customary environment: the time when she lived, women’s right were limited, most married women were considered to be the property of their husbands.
Her sister Josephine, who knows very clearly about her heart trouble, try her best to tell her about the news by “veiled hints”. She try not to shock Mrs. Mallard.
This is also alerting us that there may be other “veiled hints” in the story.
Josephine is the representative of people in Mrs. Mallard family. This tells us how the family views Mrs. Mallard: They all think that she cannot receive such news with her heart trouble so they try not to tell her directly.
In bearing the sad message: Richard knows the news first, he’s worried of Mrs. Mallard’s feelings so much. He’s so hurry that he doesn’t have enough time to check the information carefully.
“She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same”: this statement gives us an ideas that she’ll do something differently from other women when she receive the sad news.
In this case, in the time, people expected that the women will cry a lot, will feel as her heart is broken. When Mrs. Mallard received the news, she wept at once. Her reaction is very strong so the reader is very shocked about her changes later on.
“with sudden, wild abandonment”: This is the first real clue as to what sort of person she is – aside from her reported state of health. This passionate response tell us about her strength deep inside. Her passion for living is very powerful.[br]
VII/ The rebirth of Mrs. Mallard
In the forth paragraph, Chopin describes Mrs. Mallard as she goes into her room and sits on the armchair. The armchair in the story in which Mrs. Mallard sits after secluding herself in her room upon hearing of her husbands’ death is described as “comfortable” and “roomy.” The chairs’ location is also important, it is facing an open window.. The window expresses openness and freedom; for Mrs. Mallard, this means freedom from the constraints of marriage. The adjectives “comfortable,”” roomy,” symbolize a feeling of being embraced by a feeling of love and warmth. She has room to exist freely from her husband’s death, which is connected to image of “the armchair”. We can see this point in the next sentence “Into this armchair, she sank, pressed down the physical exhaustion “.
Through the open window she sees many other symbols furthering the feelings of goodness in the reader. She sees the tops of trees that “were all quiver with the new spring life” symbolizing a new life to come, something new happening in her life. The window expresses openness and freedom; for Mrs. Mallard, this means freedom from the constraints of marriage. The springtime represents Mrs. Mallard’s rebirth: she is able to start a new life now. The setting of a “delicious breath of rain” in the air refers to the calmness after a storm when the sun comes back out. Also to be heard outside are the singing of birds and the notes of a distant song someone was singing. As a motionless person who had been imprisoned in her own house, has escaped from the darkness, she is sensitive with the sounds of normal daily life such as “in the street below a peddler was crying his wares. The notes of a distant song which some one was singing reached her faintly, and countless of sparrows were twittering in the leaves “. She listens to it as if it was the first time. So it brings a fresh new sense to her. This beautiful depiction pf springtime allows us to become more immersed within the story; it allows us to feel as though we are there with Mrs. Mallard instead of merely reading a story.
In the next paragraph, Mrs. Mallard notices “patches of blue sky showing here and there through the clouds.” This imagery is bursting with metaphorical connotation. The blue sky, symbolizing serenity and delight, is starting to appear through the clouds, symbolizing the last pieces of the turbulent storm in the previous scene. This also reinforces the reader’s assumption that a bizarre joy is emerging. However, right after that, the writer half -conceal a veiled hint of something bad may happen later. To support the postulation of oppression and dismay in Mrs. Mallard’s past, Chopin masterfully adds that the clouds “? Had met and piled one above the other.” “The clouds don’t meet in the east where the sun rises but in the west where the sun sets”. “Going west the coast” can be symbolic of death.
This emotional divergence overwhelmed Mrs. Mallard, leaving her “thrown back upon the cushion of the chair, quite motionless, except when a sob came up into her throat and shook her, as a child who has cried itself to sleep continues to sob in its dreams.” In comparing her to a child, this image goes to further support the metaphorical rebirth she’s undergoing. This is metaphorical because Mrs. Mallard was acting the way a child would act, for example, if you were to discipline the child. Mallard excluded herself from everyone, by sitting in room all alone, where as a child would do the same thing if they were disciplined. Along with crying, Mrs. Mallard realized that having a husband who died isn’t easy to cope with, where a child would do the same thing, if you were to take a toy from them. The emotional influx is such that she reverts to an innate state of mind, waiting for it to all sink in.
Chopin continues to strengthen her illustrative ties in the eighth paragraph, describing Mrs. Mallard’s “ Young” face with “ Dull eyes whose gaze was fixed away off yonder on one of those patches of blue sky.” The word “young” is a concrete reference to her childhood-like state- with the dull gaze emphasizing her overwhelmed condition. The “ Patches of blue sky” revisits the reader here, continuing the weather theme, while demonstrating a yearning for that happiness. This scene mirrors a youthful school-aged child staring out the window, wishing he wasn’t sitting in a classroom. The child wants to play outside instead of working on English assignments all day, and Mrs. Mallard, like a young child, craves escaping her captivity and enjoying life as well.
As Mrs. Mallard’s happiness began to build, she “felt it, creeping out of the sky, reaching toward her through the sounds, the scents, the color that filled the air . The writer switches from a passive to an active voice. This image alleviates her personal guilt, as the happiness is reaching towards her: she’s not pursuing it. When she “ Felt it, creeping out of the sky,” it shows reserve and hesitation in admitting a positive feeling’s presence, yet exposed with such radiance, the reader can only assume she’s craving those feelings with a passionate heart. The air has sound and color, clearly symbolic of a very upbeat mood transcending her. All of her senses are absorbing all the taste of a new life. [br]
VIII/ The change of emotion
10. “Now her bosom rose and fell tumultuously.”
- “Now” indicates a contrast, a sudden change in the present compared to the past few minutes or even the past long years. Such is the change starting in her body, then her feeling and her emotion. It is not that her bosom had never been in the motion of rising and falling before. However, the matter here is she never noticed that, or the movement of her bosom was not a joyful sign of life to her. But now, now, it’s different. Not only did her bosom rise and fall, but it rose and fell tumultuously. “Tumultuous” means involving strong feelings, a lot of change and confusion. Yes, there is an intrinsic strength that has been taking shape in her body, her soul, which is keen on showing up, coming out, being born. Moreover, if you spend some time reading the sentence again: “Now her bosom rose and fell tumultuously”, you will see that there is a rhythm even in the way of putting words together in this case. It’s up and down, up and down. What a wonderful sound effect!
- Next, “She was beginning to recognize this thing that was approaching to possess her”. What does the term “this thing” refer to? It couldn’t have any thing to do with the previous sentence. Earlier in the previous paragraph, we can find another vague word “something” in “There was something coming to her and she was waiting for it, fearfully”. So, “this thing” is that so-called “something”, also we know that something refers to her thought of freedom, so does “this thing”. And trapped by the abnormal thought of freedom, she was doing what is natural and understandable, that is “striving to beat it back”. Here the author describes her struggling with the evil thought by giving the typical image of the woman using her strength, her hands to fight back, and however strong she may be, she was just a woman, a well-born lady, too weak to win.
- From another angle, the act of “beating it back” is both active and passive. She did use mental strength in trying to defeat it. But her tool was only “the will”. She didn’t move, or do anything. While the outside environment full of life force are tempting and in her mind, there are two sides: one conventional morality of sadness after husband’s death and one of joy and freedom from the life imprisoned before. In such a situation, it’s is natural for her to give up.
11. “When she abandoned herself a little whispered word escaped her slightly parted lips.”
The term “abandon” is repeated again. The first time was in paragraph 3, when she received the news of her husband’s death, she wept wildly, feeling the sorrow. Now, the word “abandon” is used again but to mean that she gave up. “Herself” refers to her old body, her previous life in imprisonment. That old body, that woman in her had died, had been abandoned. And a new woman had been born, a new life, young and free.
- At that moment, “a little whispered word escaped her slightly parted lips”. Just a little word, a whispered word, because she was still new to this feeling, she was just born, and as young as a baby starting to speak out shyly, she did it with weak breath, weak voice and little, short word. And the word “escape” from her lips which are slightly parted, just like the words are still something of guilt although she did choose to enjoy the freedom before. Such is the deep-rooted conception in her thought that kept pulling her back to the old track even though she struggled to go on a different way, as well as the typical lack of persistence in the women’s heart.
- Yet, she kept saying “over and over” the words “Free, free, free”. Double alliteration of the word “over” and “free” creates the sound effect in our readers’ mind. She had to go on reminding herself like that to keep from thinking over the issue. Besides, those are the very first words, first statement of liberty coming from inside. However, along with that victory went the vacant stare and the look of terror shining keen and bright from her eyes. She was hesitant and reluctant, the new life was so new to her, she was still puzzled and scared by the new thought of freedom. That is really typical of women, especially those in the old days.
- Despite all that thought, her body still showed a new life force. “Her pulse beat fast, and the coursing blood warned and relaxed every inch of her body.” Every part of her body is expressing, singing and dancing a joyful melody. She was like a tree, absorbing water on being watered after a long time left dry, delivering it to every small and far branches the new source of life. Her body was feeling much the same in every inch. Some critics say that this is the moment that the sensuality, the pleasure coming from the physical senses, feelings has been transferred from what she sees to her body, and argue that this should be compared with del ecstasy. Although I myself have never experienced this, I still think they have a point there. It could be. [br]
12. “She did not stop to ask if it were not a monstrous joy that held her. A clear and exalted perception enabled her to dismiss the suggestion as trivial.”
- Now when she was deep in the thought and the new life, her satisfaction kept her mind from thinking of the question of morality. She gave herself the right to enjoy her life and forget anything that may pull her back to the thought of right or wrong. Such were trivial in comparison to her happiness at this moment.
13. However, she couldn’t help shaking the image of the dead body of her husband off her mind. “She knew that she would weep again when she saw the kind, tender hands folded in death; the face that had never looked save with love upon her, fixed and gray and dead.” The image of a dead body is always raising a feeling of sadness in our hearts, the hands folded powerlessly and the face unmoved, gray and pale. Who will not be moved when being in such a scene unless they are cold-blooded? Not to mention that this is her husband, the one she knew and lived with.
- Besides, we can see that the phrase “the face that had never looked save with love upon her” here is quite confusing. What can we infer from this? There seems to be no question that her husband loved her. He was said to always look at her with love. This creates a sudden thought of contradict in our minds, if he loved her so, she should be happy for that. Why did she seem to suffer a lot?
- Now go on with her feeling. “She saw beyond that bitter moment a long procession of years to come that would belong to her absolutely. And she opened and spread her arms out to them in welcome.” The thought of freedom had obviously returned in her mind, and she tried to think of the promising future to assure herself that she still had a long life in front to live. The gesture mentioned showed her delighting and exciting welcome of the new life.
14. “There would be no one to live for during those coming years, she would live for herself.” We can see very clearly that her life before had been such a burden on her shoulder, being a dependent of her husband, she did not feel comfortable. So when she had the chance of being the boss of herself, being not under anyone’s control, she felt extremely happy, as an teenager finally came to be accepted as a fully grown adult, she was happy to be on her own.
- The next sentence was a more general statement that I think it must be a slip of the author’s tongue put into the story. “There would be no powerful will blending her in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature.” Such was a strong emphasis she said when mentioning the matter of equality in that current male-dominated society. The term “fellow-creature” here serves as a good and suitable reason to the sentence’s strength.
- “A kind intention or a cruel intention made the act seem no less a crime as she looked upon it in that brief moment of illumination.” The moment of stating her own independence was vividly referred as moment of illumination, moment of realizing the new truth of life, new philosophy. This reminds me of some verses of Tố Hữu, a Vietnamese poet:
“Ngày ấy trong tôi bừng nắng hạ
Mặt trời chân lý chói qua tim”
- And the thought at that very moment of her life was like something new, too new to be accepted and considered without prejudice. So her new statement of independence was still regarded as a crime, kind to herself, but cruel to her husband, cruel in the view of people of her time. [br]
15. “And yet she had loved him – sometimes. Often she had not.” These sentences, although being a little ironic, tell us that her love to her husband was not stable. This may be the reason why she suffered from being his wife, knowing that he he had never looked save with love upon her. But this is not important anymore, “What did it matter!”. To her, love was an unsolved mystery, a painful dependence, and she was ready to exchange it for the possession of self-assertion, the basic human right as an individual, the recent right that she had just found after long lost in her husband’s hands.
16. And in the excitement of discovering her missing possession, she kept whispering “Free! Body and soul free!”. She clearly acknowledged that she had a new start of life waiting and she was no longer fearful of admitting it.
IX/ The abrupt return of Mr.Mallard results in her death: (Par.17-23)
• Par. 17: Josephine implored Mrs.Mallard to open the door
- deliberate use of her maiden name “Louise”: strongly assert her separation from her upsetting past and beginning of a new life. From then on, she had changed totally from an upset housewife to a confidently and pleasantly independent lady.
- “you will make yourself ill”: Josephine assumed that Mrs. Louise will make herself ill due to her grievance for her husband. This is typical of the expectations of these around her those days. Josephine’s a representative for the contemporary view of the role of women – subservience and fidelity to their husbands without any care for their feelings.
• Par. 18: Louise’s greatly resistive answer
- “Go away”: imperative: the powerful change of her psychological state, the realization of her rights to freedom.
- Metaphorical image “She was drinking in a very elixir of life through that open window”:
+ “open window”: the window of revolutionary enlightenment, where she sat, thinking, upsetting, and then rekindling and burning her will to escape from the strings of moralities that had “haunted her body and soul”.
+ “a very elixir of life”:
a sweetened aromatic solution of alcohol and water, used as a vehicle for medicine. This sweet candy is like a relaxing and relieving drug for her disappointment at the unhappy marriage, which is the bitter medicine, the bitter period in her life.
- A medicine regarded as a cure to all ills. In this meaning, all the effects of the natural scenes are just like a wonder drug whose power can reach all her sadness and hope for a free and cheerful life.
- The philosopher’s stone - an imaginary substance that, in the past, people believed could change any metal into gold or silver, or could make people live for ever. This shows the miraculous change in her mind, like a legend in one hour.
- The underlying principle. The underlying principles of life that she had realized – her liberation, her rights. She was absorbing a new nourishing flow of principles.
=> very imagery, meaningful and inspirational metaphor.
• Par.19: The long-lasting desire for a better life in Louise:
- “Her fancy was running riot”: personification: emphasize her extreme longing for happiness
- “Spring days, summer days, and all sorts of days”: climax, stresses on her strong desire.
- “breathed a quick prayer”: metaphor: a prayer that comes from the depth of her soul
- Time contrast: “It was only yesterday she had thought with a shudder that life might be long”. The dull long old days – vigorous short hour of today, such a contrast can happen in only one hour.
• Par.20: She went down-stair with her sister
- Simile “…like a goddess of Victory”: She conquered her fear of immoral actions and fetters of antiquated beliefs.
- “clasped her sister’s waist…descended the stairs”: This is the position, posture of a Victor in winning herself and the contemporary prejudices.
• Par.21: The turning point of the story: The sudden return of Mr. Brently Mallard:
- Only two features for major description but say many things about her husband “travel-stained” and “gripsack”. If he were not in the train, why was he “stained”. What’s more, it’s a “gripsack”, not a “suitcase” or “briefcase”, very simple, even a little bit messy => his indulgence, without any care for her thought and feelings as well as her slight emotion for him => his distance echoes the unhappy nature of her marriage which she had to bear.
- Josephine’s reaction “piercing cry”.
• Par.22: Richards’ lateness made Louise see her husband coming back.
• Par.23: The sad outcome of the story – her death
- “of joy that kills”: paradox and personification makes the final phrase become both ironic and serious
- Ironic: the joy here is the sudden joy or utmost disappointment?
- Serious: It was the joy that rekindles and illuminates her desire for love of life kills her. She can only be free from the miserable life by her death => This is the merciless quirk of fate of Mrs. Mallard or Chopin’s inner voice - the aching problem of women’s rights. Through only three last words of her story, Chopin feverishly speaks for women’s liberation and accused the contemporary beliefs of ruining women’s happiness as well as warned that this tragic outcome is still unsolved. Women always face the unhappiness of life until the end of their lives.
X/ Artistic value:
Figures of Speech
P.1 Break …the news Metaphor
P.2 Broken sentences Metaphor
That revealed in half concealing Paradox
P.3 Not hear the story as many women… Simile
The storm of grief… Metaphor
P.4 There stood…roomy armchair Personification
That haunted …to reach into her soul… Personification
P.5 The new spring life Metaphor, Metonymy
The delicious breath of rain… Metaphor
P.6 The clouds that had met and piled… Personification
P.7 As a child who has cried… Simile
P.9 The sounds, the scents… Alliteration
P.10 This thing…approaching to possess her… Personification
Her will as powerless as … Simile
P.11 A little whispered word Transferred Epithet
Escaped her slightly… Metaphor
The look of terror that followed… Personification
P.12 A monstrous joy… Oxymoron
P.13 The kind, tender hands… Synecdoche
…fixed and gray and dead… Climax
P.18 Drinking in a exilir of life Metaphor
P.19 Spring days, summer days…days Climax
She breathed a quick prayer Metaphor
P.20 Unwittingly like a goddess of Victory… Metaphor
P.23 Of joy that kills Paradox
A heart trouble
Veiled hints that revealed in half concealing
A comfortable roomy armchair
The clouds…in the west facing her window
When Mrs. Mallard heard the news of her husband’s death, she didn’t really behave as many women did. Readers expect her, a newly widowed woman, to be upset and suffer from misery for months. She, however, saw things in a very different way. She felt happy and enjoyed the new life without her husband. We can see this through the text. Some clues are “a comfortable roomy chair; delicious breath of rain; free, free, free; a long procession of years to come that would belong to her absolutely…”
Louise was the person who looked forwards to her bright future – the person who lived from the gloomy days to a new spring life. But she is the one that died in the end.
The doctor and people believed that Mrs. Mallard died because she saw her husband alive and she was so happy at that time that her heart trouble can’t handle the news and caused her death. But she actually died because she couldn’t stand the fact that he was still alive, which put an end to her feverish hope, future…
Richard, Mrs. Mallard’s husband’s friend, in the beginning of the story, hastened to stop her from hearing the news, but in the end, was too late to screen Mr. Mallard from the view of his wife, causing her to die.
A heart trouble suggests us that Mrs. Mallard can not handle shocked news. A comfortable, roomy armchair where her dead husbands sat. The clouds …in the west facing her windows, the west where the sun sets. All anticipate her death in the end.
Patches of blue sky, the new spring life symbolizes a new beginning of Louise’s life in which she is free. Spring is the time when living things propagate and are born. Likewise, Louise believes she will become productive, energized and reborn. She has her whole life of freedom to look forward to.
The open window in her bedroom. The window suggests that there is no material object standing in the way of her new life. There is a clear passage between her life of captivity to her life of freedom. Her husband was the only person holding her back, but now that he’s gone, she’s able to look forward to the future when she can live her life for herself.
Appearance Vs Reality:
To all people it would appear that Louise would grieve over Brently since they would assume she was happily married and content in her sub-servant role as a housewife. Louise's sister Josephine exemplifies such a judgment of how Louise's reaction to the sudden death of her husband Brently. Josephine misinterprets Louise's behavior, thinking she is hysterical over Brently's death. She pleads, "Louise, open the door! I beg; open the door-you will make yourself ill." To Josephine, Louise appears to be heart-broken, but in reality, Louise is relieved by his death.
The doctor's judgment of how Louise dies also deals with the appearance versus reality conflict. For example, the doctor predicts that Louise died from the "joy that kills," believing she was so overcome by the joy of seeing her husband alive, she is physically incapable of dealing with such a strong emotion of joy. But she actually dies because her free life has come to a sudden stop, And is heart-broken that she will not be able to live her life as she hoped she could, alone.
The role of the wife Vs the role of the husband:
Louise struggled with her feelings about her marriage for years. Louise thinks "what could love, the unsolved mystery, count for in face of this possession of self-assertion which she suddenly recognized as the strongest impulse of her being." She admits that she did love Brently, but often she did not. On the other hand, the story suggests that Brently was completely content in the marriage and assumed that Louise was too.
Meaning of the title of the story:
It describes the one hour she spends dreaming about her new life in freedom, from getting the incorrect death message until tragically passing away herself. She lived in the true sense of the word, with will, ambition and joy, for one hour only.
XI/ Point of view: Omniscient point of view
- The story is told by the writer, using the third person: the writer uses pronoun “she, he” to tell the story.
- The writer knows almost everything about every character and event: this all-knowing narrator tells us not only the characters are doing (She sat with her head thrown back upon the cushion of the chair…), saying (She said it over and over under her breath “Free, free, free!”…) but also what they are thinking and feeling (She knew that she would weep again when she saw…; Her pulse beat fast, and the coursing blood…).
- The writer may give judgement of the characters and their actions (A kind intention or a cruel intention made the act…).
- This point of view is subjective: the reader views the story through the subjective writer.
- The writer has to interfere too much in the story: the writer creates all the characters, situations. The readers can’t think another way.
- It is undramatic: the writer does everything for the readers.
- It is flexible: It allows readers the widest scope: readers can see all the characters with all characteristics that the writer wants us to know.
- It lacks coherence or unity: the continual change of viewpoint from character to character.
- A happy marriage cannot be created if there is an unwillingness to enter the marriage or if one does not truly love the other.
- Oppressed feelings that have no outlet will be bad for your health.
- In life, things never happen the way one wants or expects.
- Depending on somebody won’t make your life happy.
Joined: Sep 04, 2008
Location: 4B.07 ED-UP
Sep 29, 2008 - 07:57 PM
A lot of letters here so I edited your post by highlighting some headings without your permission T_T sorry T_T
ps: thank you so much for your post ^^ I think it must be very useful ^^
Joined: Sep 11, 2008
Sep 29, 2008 - 08:35 PM
oh, don't worry. It's ok. B/c I don't have enough time to make it clearer, I just post flat letters like that. I can't thank you enough for your edition. Thanks again!
Mouse always loves Rice
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