Kate Chopin conveys an alternating theme of grief and love in The Story of an Hour in a fascinating but a peculiar authentic manner more than any other literary work I know about. Through Mrs. Mallard, Chopin expresses grief and emotional dilemma surrounding the speculated death of Mr. Brently Mallard in a tragic railroad accident which turns out to be false after the latter comes back home safely from his journey.
Throughout the story, the author employs creative use of descriptive words to bring out the contrasting themes of grief, pain, love and disbelief with high precision. The author describes into finer details how gentle Josephine broke the saddening news ofMr. Mallard’s death his wife and further helped her heart troubled widowed sister Mrs. Mallard to overcome the subsequent harrowing grief that temporarily brought her world into a sudden halt.
It was the beauty and harmony of nature that heals Mrs. Mallard from the heartache that came with news of her husband as depicted in the story. Having wept once in the tender arm of her sister, Mrs. Mallard sits on her comfortable roomy chair devastated, but the authentic view of the open square before her house offered her a great relief. The humidity of the air, patches of clouds through the blue sky, twittering of the sparrows, and faint sounds of the peddlers calmly took away all her sorrows. She is now determined to live freely from all bondage of love.
At the end of the story, Mrs. Mallard dies from an overwhelming joy of seeing her husband alive back at their home contrary to her expectations of seeing her husband’s dead body. Chopin surely employs the use of literary techniques such as suspense and figurative speech to relay her themes in the story.