Story of an Hour Literary Device

Kate Chopin begins The Story of an Hour with foreshadowing, which allows the audience to interpret the chronological events of the short story while alluding to the ending in a very subtle way. This device gives us an insight into the sensitivity of the minor characters emotions with a questioning insight on the main character. Foreshadowing is used in the beginning when Kate Chopin writes, “Knowing 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 husbands death. This device hints that such news could cause Mrs. Mallard to have a heart complication, which could kill her. Knowing this, the author has put the audience on edge for the duration of the story until her fate is given. With the “heart trouble” in mind, the audience is able to contemplate the possibilities while interpreting the events in the story. At first the audience might think that the news of her husband death would kill her from when the narrator says “… paralyzed inability to accept its significance. Then the main character feels free and alive as she whispers “Free! Body and soul free! ” At the end her fate is told as “…they said she had died of heart disease- of joy that kills. ” These examples all throw the audience off but keep them interested enough to keep reading till they know the end result. For the most part, all of the foreshadowing is interpreted and made apparent through the audience. The narrator never alludes to Mrs. Mallard’s possible death from er “heart trouble” but only makes the information known. The text only aids the reader in guessing the outcome. This makes the audience more of a component to the story. The short story could have began without the information given, although, that would have changed the flow of the text and make the ending less interesting. Kate Chopin uses foreshadowing in an appropriate manner, which brings the story full circle. The foreshadowing is able to capture the audience and captivate their attention through to the end.