The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

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What is the language and style in Chopin's "The Story of an Hour"?

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Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” is written from the third-person perspective and in the past tense. The tone of the story might be described, for the most part, as rather matter-of-fact and prosaic. There are, however, moments when the language becomes metaphorical, and these moments are usually reserved for descriptions of the protagonist’s emotions.

For example, Mrs. Mallard seems to endure “a storm of grief” when she first hears of her husband’s death. She is then, metaphorically, “pressed down by a physical exhaustion that haunt(s) her body and seem(s) to reach into her soul.” This particular metaphor implies that the grief she is feeling is invasive and malevolent. When the initial shock of her husband’s death passes, Mrs. Mallard is described as “drinking in a very elixir of life.”

Metaphors such as these make it easy for the reader to visualize Mrs. Mallard’s emotional reactions, and they also raise her emotions above the, by contrast, prosaic language...

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