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The Story of an Hour

The Story of an Hour

by Kate Chopin

Language and Communication Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

It was her sister Josephine who told her, in broken sentences; veiled hints that revealed in half concealing. (2)

The way Josephine tells Mrs. Mallard about the tragedy is so "veiled" and "concealing" that we don't even hear the words she uses to describe it. The narrator shields the reader from this news just as Josephine shields it from Mrs. Mallard. In each case, the teller tries to protect the listener. The idea of "half concealing" can stretch to cover the whole story, too, as Chopin uses inference and implication – not always direct reporting – to tell readers about events.

Quote #2

He had only taken the time to assure himself of its truth by a second telegram, and had hastened to forestall any less careful, less tender friend in bearing the sad message. (2)

Maybe Shmoop's reading too much into this, but it almost seems like the narrator and Richards are trying too hard to persuade us here about what a great guy Richards is. After all, he wants to beat out any "less careful, less tender friend" so that he can tell Mrs. Mallard what happened in the most delicate way. Either that's super nice and he's just looking out for his friend's wife, or he's kind of stroking his ego by making sure he's the most "careful" and "tender" out of anybody.

Quote #3

She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance. (3)

Mrs. Mallard's approach to the news shows how different she is from "many [other] women." Most wives, the narrator implies, would react to the news of their husband's death with shock and disbelief. Instead of that, Mrs. Mallard immediately understands what's happened and instantly starts grieving for her husband.

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