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ENG111: The Analysis of The Story of an Hour (Essay Sample)


Reading material is:"The Story of an Hour," by Kate Chopin
Essay #2 Textual Analysis

For all due dates related to Essay 2, please see course calendar.

Assignment Explanation:

Your writing task is to analyze a short work of literature (carefully review “texts to choose from” below before making your choice) in a paper of at least 2 full pages. You will offer a unique view of the chosen text, and you will use one or more of the literary devices applied to discussions of texts (see the handouts in Week 5 folder).

The thesis of a textual analysis paper invites the reader to accept your interpretation of the text.

This paper has a fair amount in common with position essays (you’ll see the overlap as you read the EAA chapters corresponding to each unit). But when you are asked to write an analysis, usually you are being asked to use a style that is more “toned down”—your task is less about persuading the reader to take action on a cause, and more about offering a new perspective. Like a position essay, though, your paper will contain reasons/examples and evidence (in the form of quotes from the story/poem) to back up those reasons.

Purpose: Analysis, in one form or another, will be present in most of the academic writing you will do from here on out. One reason to limit this assignment to textual analysis (as opposed to analysis of history or culture) is that it gives us all a common baseline from which to work; it also allows me to suggest concrete texts for you to use. Completing this assignment will prepare you for the analytical writing you will be expected to do in English 112 and beyond.

*Before starting, please review the following:

1) PowerPoint on textual analysis

2) EAA Ch. 13

Texts to choose from (your Works Cited page and in-text citations will come from this text)

*short story or poem from Texts To Choose From Handout

*text pre-approved by me

*text from a literary anthology checked out from library (title/author pre-approved by me)

*although you may be tempted to select a longer short story in an effort to “have enough to write about,” I highly recommend sticking to a work under 10 pages. Along those lines, your paper will be more successful and engaging if you consider one or two literary devices (tone and character), rather than trying to explain everything in the work—doing the latter will make your essay sound like a summary rather than a unique analysis.

*Novels or other longer works are not suitable for this paper. The objective of your essay is to perform a close reading and offer an interpretation of a segment—remember that analysis involves “zeroing in” on part of something in order to make a determination about the whole.



The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin
In The Story of an Hour Kate Chopin highlights the transformation of Mrs. Mallard (Louise) the story’s protagonist whose husband (Brently) is presumed dead. Jennifer, Louise’s sister was afraid to break news to her sister about Mr. Mallard’s death, as she assumed that she would grieve too much. Kate Chopin was born in the mid 19th century and only began writing when 40 years old, and she focused on Louise’s awakening to selfhood. Mrs. Mallard has heart trouble in the story, and she goes through transformation when she heard about her husband’s death. The author uses symbolism to elaborate on the theme of freedom and the story of an hour.
Chopin addresses Louise’s heart trouble, which symbolizes sacrificing the self-identity and as she conformed to the society’s expectations even when she was unhappy. Chopin’s (1) opening statement “knows that Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble, great care was taken to break to her as gently as possible the news of her husband's death.” As the story unfolds the heart trouble is shown to be unrelated to physical ailments, and while death is a sad moment she is also joyous for being free. In the end she suffers a heart break when her husband comes back alive.
The story’s setting in the spring season symbolizes rebirth where the protagon

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