Which sentences contribute to a sense of hope in this excerpt from "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin?She wept at once, with sudden, wild...

Which sentences contribute to a sense of hope in this excerpt from "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin?

She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister's arms. When the storm of grief had spent itself she went away to her room alone. She would have no one follow her.

There stood, facing the open window, a comfortable, roomy armchair. Into this she sank, pressed down by a physical exhaustion that haunted her body and seemed to reach into her soul.

She could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life. The delicious breath of rain was in the air. In the street below a peddler was crying his wares. The notes of a distant song which someone was singing reached her faintly, and countless sparrows were twittering in the eaves.

There were patches of blue sky showing here and there through the clouds that had met and piled one above the other in the west facing her window.

She sat with her head 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.

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favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Louise Mallard goes to her room right after she learns her husband died in a train accident, she locks the door and goes to sit in front of an "open window [in] a comfortable, roomy armchair."  The connotations of words like open, comfortable, and roomy are all very positive, and thus they begin to contribute to the hopeful mood.  It seems easier to imagine that a woman, having just learned of her husband's death, might be unable to find any place comfortable or even feel emotionally equipped to look out at the wide world.  When we are terribly sad, we often hole up in a dark place and cry or sleep or both.  However, Louise does the exact opposite; she goes to her open window where she can experience the world outside, instead of dwelling in the world inside herself.

Further, the types of things Louise notices when she looks outside have even more positive connotations, and help to establish that sadness is not her overwhelming emotion;  in fact, she now feels hope.

She could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life. The delicious breath of rain was in the air. In the street below a peddler was crying his wares. The notes of a distant song which someone was singing reached her faintly, and countless sparrows were twittering in the eaves.

Again Chopin uses the word open as if to signify the new possibilities of Louise's life, her increased options and freedom.  Moreover, it is spring, the season typically associated with rebirth; it is a hopeful season, after the chill death of winter, that heralds new life all around.  The trees are aquiver, the smell of coming rain is delicious, the trees and streets are full of life and sounds that are all completely positive and joy-giving and hopeful.  Water, like spring, also frequently connotes a new life or rebirth as well.  In addition, Louise hears music made by both people and birds, and the singing sparrows -- like her new possibilities -- are so numerous that they seem countless to her.  All of these descriptions work to establish not a sad or depressed mood but, rather, a hopeful, joyful one.  

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The Story of an Hour

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