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The Story of an Hour

The Story of an Hour

by Kate Chopin

Mortality Quotes Page 2

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

She sat with her head thrown back upon the cushion of the chair, quite motionless, except when a sob came up into her throat and shook her, as a child who has cried itself to sleep continues to sob in its dreams. (7)

Here, it's almost like Mrs. Mallard's body "continues" to cry without her. Even though her mind is already moving away from the thought of her husband's death, Mrs. Mallard is still occasionally wracked with a sob. Chopin uses the metaphor of a kid falling asleep crying to illustrate the point. Comparing Mrs. Mallard to the crying child seems to stress her innocence and vulnerability, almost as if to say that her later thoughts of relief at her husband's death aren't that bad after all.

Quote #5

She knew that she would weep again when she saw the kind, tender hands folded in death; the face that had never looked save with love upon her, fixed and gray and dead. (13)

One could argue, in a moment like this, that Mrs. Mallard is putting aside the much larger grief that her husband's death has caused because she understands that she'll "weep again" when she sees his body. This makes it sound like she's trying to concentrate on freedom and other ideas that will distract her from her grief. Of course, this idea seems to be undercut by the other passages describing just how much this newfound freedom means to her.

Quote #6

There would be no one to live for during those coming years; she would live for herself. (14)

The parallel structure of this sentence almost seems to imply that Mrs. Mallard is "no one"' there's "no one to live for" so "she [will] live for herself." In each part of the sentence, the verb used is the same, so "no one" and "herself" occupy the same relationship. Either Mrs. Mallard thinks that "no one" values her, or she's suggesting that it's only possible for her to be "herself" if there's no one else around.

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