Theme and Narrative Elements in the Short Story: The Story of an Hour

Topics: Fiction, Narrative, Short story Pages: 3 (1023 words) Published: September 20, 2014
Running head: Theme and Narrative Elements 1

Theme and Narrative Elements

Theme and Narrative Elements in the Short Story: The Story of an Hour

Tanya Patterson

Prof. Emily Benson

September 15, 2014

Theme and Narrative Elements in the Short Story: The Story of an Hour

The Story of an Hour written by Kate Chopin in 1894 the reader should zone in on the main character Mrs. Mallard's thoughts and not so much on the excitement of the story but the ending. The insights of different literary elements such as the point of view and tone make this short story omniscient and subtle yet cruel that all contribute to the multiple themes.

According to Journey Into Literature, "a theme is an idea, or message, that lies behind a literary work, the theme tells what the story is about: What is the underlying message? What is driving the action?" (Clugston, 2014). When answering any of these questions, the main theme deals with a dysfunctional marriage and other minor themes including communication, freedom and confinement, time, and mortality. The reason for the dysfunctional marriage comes from males dominating the women of the 19th century and how they were prisoners to their husbands. Women were expected to stay home to cook, clean, and take care of the children. The woman was only a mean of a man's pleasure and reproduction. She had no rights, no opinions, no sentiments no emotions (Radek, 2001). If they did work and it was not too often and the pay and job was always less compared to a man. There was no mention of true love since marriage was out of convenience, monetary comfort and status during that era. Communication is essential and its delivery because when Mrs. Mallard was told of her husband's untimely death on a train and then to find out that he was not dead after all, was more deadly than how you tell it versus what actually happened. Be careful with delicacy and preparation when delivering a message to a sick listener with a heart condition...

References: Chopin, K. (1894). The Story of an Hour. Vogue, pp. 1-3
Clugston, R. W. (2014). Journey into literature (2nd ed.). San Diego, California: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
Jamil, S, S. (2009). "Emotions in 'The Story of an Hour '" Explicator. pp. 215-220. Retrieved from EBSCO hosting.
Radek, K. (2001). Women in the Nineteenth Century. Women in Literature. Retrieved from: http://www2.ivcc.edu/gen2002/women_in_the_nineteenth_century.htm.
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