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How does the scene outside the window foreshadow the feelings that sweep over Mrs....

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laum | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 29, 2009 at 1:20 PM via web

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How does the scene outside the window foreshadow the feelings that sweep over Mrs. Mallard as she sits in her chair?

In "The Story of an Hour," how does the scene outside the window foreshadow Mrs. Mallard's feelings as she sits in her chair?

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grammargator | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted September 29, 2009 at 8:40 PM (Answer #1)

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In Kate Chopin's short story, Mrs. Mallard has just been informed of her husband's death. She retreats to her room, sits in her chair and gazes out the window. The scene is described as an "open square" where the "tops of trees were all aquiver with new life." "Patches of blue sky" were visible "through the clouds."

These sights parallel Mrs. Mallard's dawning feelings of freedom and possibility now that her husband is gone. She, too, feels aquiver with new life. What potential she sees for the future! In a few short paragraphs, she experiences the intense joy of freedom, then sees her hopes crushed when her husband returns home, alive and well, having missed the train that crashed fatally.

And  she dies, of what her doctors conclude is the "joy that kills."

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fafu-the-ostrich | Student , Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 5, 2009 at 6:59 AM (Answer #2)

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When Mrs. Mallard first learns of her husband's death, she is overshadowed with sorrow and grief. The patches of blue sky among the clouds foreshadow how her grief is "clearing up" and something beautiful (hope) will be left behind. Spring is a time of new life and new beginnings, and this foreshadows the new life Mrs. Mallard will have for a short time.

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