It’s Day 6 of the #A2ZChallenge. This year, I invite you to read and discuss short stories with me. Each day, I bring you a ‘Read of the Day,’ a short story in English, so that we can indulge in the joy of reading. You can visit my site daily for a short story with analysis and participate in the discussion in the comments.
Read of the Day
Today, we will read The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin.
You can read the short story online here.
About the Author
Kate Chopin is an American writer known for her inclusive fiction stories. Her short stories have been published in various prestigious magazines in the 1890s, such as Vogue, the Atlantic Monthly, and Harper’s Young People. She has twenty-six children’s stories to her credit as well. Chopin is credited with honest portrayals of women’s lives and diverse ethnic groups.
If you like stories that spring a surprise, you have to read The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin. In just about 1000 words, Chopin gifts you beautiful prose, realistic characters, and a strong plot.
The story is about Louise Mallard, who just learns about her husband’s death from Richards, his friend, and Josephine, her sister. She breaks down uncontrollably, and the story follows the course in the next one hour.
The beginning of the story swept me off my feet with its enchanting storytelling.
“But now there was a dull stare in her eyes, whose gaze was fixed away off yonder on one of those patches of blue sky. It was not a glance of reflection but rather indicated a suspension of intelligent thought.”
In the middle of the story, Chopin grasps you to the chair with suspense in the air.
“Now her bosom rose and fell tumultuously. She was beginning to recognize this thing that was approaching to possess her, and she was striving to beat it back with her will—as powerless as her two white slender hands would have been.
When she abandoned herself, a little whispered word escaped her slightly parted lips. She said it over and over under her breath: “free, free, free!”
There’s a lot of symbolism in the story, like a roomy armchair, an open window, twittering sparrows, or patches of blue sky.
I’d definitely count this as a feminist story, as it treats men and women equally, in both good and bad times.
“…in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature. A kind intention or a cruel intention made the act seem no less a crime as she looked upon it in that brief moment of illumination.”
Telling anything more about the story will mean giving out the spoilers. I’ll conclude by saying that the story shocks you till the finish. It’s a well-crafted story that deserves a read.
I’d love to know your thoughts on The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin.
*I’m participating in the #BlogchatterA2Z Challenge.