Kate Chopin’s The Story of An Hour is an challenging work that leaves the reader inquiring whether Louis Mallard’s waking up was religious or physical. Many critics like to pick one side of the statement and stick to it. nevertheless the reader must recognize that it is a combination of the two. In his essay Chopin’s The Story of an Hour. Daniel P. Deneau. a adorned literary critic. suggests some possible readings of the narrative. Deneau points out many different illustrations through out the narrative to demo how Louis Mallard’s waking up is both religious and physical.
Deneau presents the inquiry whether Louise is “a normal apprehensible. sympathetic adult female or is she an egoistic. selfish monster. ” Even though observing the decease of one’s hubby is evil and diabolic. the manner she does it makes her a sympathetic character. Deneau explains that there is a religious force that is responsible for Louise’s emotions. He besides argues that “if instantly after larning of the decease of her hubby Louise had gone through a rapid logical procedure taking to a jubilation of her entire freedom. she might hold seemed to be difficult. ciphering. and hence unsympathetic. ” Chopin makes Mrs. Mallard a sympathetic adult female by doing her waking up seem forced and unmanageable.
Deneau calls attending to the fact that this waking up can be related to a colza. Mrs. Mallard is said to hold tried to “beat it back with all her will. ” This “sexual experience…at foremost seems…like a terrifying colza. but one that evolves into something sultrily stimulating and loosen uping. and. of class. spiritually lighting. ” Louis feels the physical alteration that occurs. “her pulses all in fast. and the coursing blood warmed and relaxed every inch of her organic structure. ” This is all portion of the physical alteration that takes topographic point within Louise Mallard and it all is similar to what may travel on during a sexual scene. Deneau besides mentions that the word “possess” can intend. “to have sexual intercourse with ( a adult females ) . ” Kate Chopin was familiar with the dual significance of this word when she used it in Story of an Hour stating. “She was get downing to acknowledge this thing that was nearing to possess her. ” We know this because she used this significance of the word in another 1 of her plants entitled The Storm.
Kate Chopin’s Story of an Hour “is about more than fright. force. and sex ; it is besides about expectancy. pleasance. and finally enlightenment. ”
In decision. Deneau uses several exerts from Chopin’s text to explicate Chopin’s portraiture of Louise Mallard as an guiltless bystander who was consumed by a spirit which was non her ain. He explains that Chopin is non composing about an remorseless widow. but of the religious and physical force that possesses. awakens. and finally kills her.
Chopin. Kate. The Complete Works of Kate Chopin. Ed. Per Seyersted. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP. 1969.
Deneau. Daniel P. “Chopin’s ‘The Story of an Hour. ’ . ” Explicator 61. 4 ( Summer 2003 ) : 210-213. Rpt. in Short Story Criticism. Vol. 110. Detroit: Gale. 2008. Literature Resource Center. Web. 16 Apr. 2010.