The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

The Story of an Hour book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What type of characterization is used in Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour"?

Expert Answers info

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write9,748 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Characterization is how a writer conveys the personality of an individual in a work of literature. Characters are defined through their physical descriptions, their actions, their thoughts, and their dialogue. Although her story is very short, Chopin uses all of these forms of characterization to paint a portrait of Mrs. Mallard.

As for description, we learn that Mrs. Mallard is young, with a calm face that normally keeps its thoughts to itself but seems to reflect an inner strength. More importantly, we watch her body relax as she realizes the implications of her husband's death. We are told she looks like "a goddess of Victory" as she descends the steps of her room with her sister. These outward transformations reflect how she has changed internally in the course of an hour.

Mrs. Mallard's thoughts comprise much of the story. They revolve around her growing awareness that her husband's death means she can be her own person, completely in charge of her own life. This realization fills...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 983 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Wallace Field eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)


calendarEducator since 2016

write6,847 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Coty Baumbach eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write965 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial