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What is the tone of "The Story of an Hour"?

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meganprice | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 1, 2007 at 12:32 PM via web

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What is the tone of "The Story of an Hour"?

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gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 1, 2007 at 9:43 PM (Answer #1)

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I would say the tone is one of ironic detachment. We stay emotionally distant from what's going on, as if viewing the story from a great distance, even as Mrs. Mallard's life changes, then ends.

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renelane | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted April 9, 2007 at 3:43 AM (Answer #2)

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I would say its tone is melancholy. The unrecognized-or unspoken-unhappiness that seems to rule her life is realized only upon word of her husband's demise, and swiftly taken away again at his arrival.

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wait-what | Student , College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 26, 2008 at 10:17 AM (Answer #3)

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What is the tone of this story. Hmm...I think that would depend on which part of the story you were talking about. In the beggining of the story the tone is one of dawning comprehension, hopeful even. The diction and sentence structure is liberating, using words such as "free" to describe herself now that she is not married. Her description of what she see's out the window in paragraph 5 or 6, the blue skies emerging from the clouds, is symbolic of Louise's own emergence from the clouds of marriage.

The end of the story however, is very ironic. She dies because of all the possibilities she lost when her husband wasn't killed, and she found out that she would have to live under the oppression of marraige again. And then the docters diagnosed her of dying of a joy that kills.

It is important to note however, that Chopin makes a point to describe the husband in a positive light, describing him as a man who never looked upon his wife but with love. So it's not the husband that is the problem, it's the institution of marraige itself. Because if Chopin had described the husband as a drunken abusive pig rather than a loving caring individual, the readers would have scorned Louise's marraige in particular, rather than marraige in general.

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yosef2621 | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 11, 2013 at 8:29 PM (Answer #4)

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“The Story of an Hour” depicts a brief event in a woman’s life, but in this single hour, Chopin reveals both a lifetime’s emotional torment and momentary joy of freedom.

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