The author describes Mrs. Mallard’s reaction to nature as she looks out the open window in the novel. She can see the fluffy clouds and the treetops as she looks out the window. She can scent the approaching rain and hear birds singing in the distance. “She could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the fresh spring life,” the author writes in the fifth line (Chopin para. 5). Mrs. Mallard’s heart is filled with new optimism and life as spring approaches. With a clear head, she is confident of experiencing a new life that is full of freedom. The paragraph further reveals her encounter with the “countless sparrows that were twittering in the eaves.” This means that she is able to feel the hints of elation resulting from her freedom.
In paragraph 6, it is clear that once the “widow” opens her window, she observes the clear, bright view of the blue sky which she could not see earlier. The author states, “There were patches of blue sky showing here and there through the clouds that had met and piled one above the other in the west facing her window” (Chopin para. 6). Mrs. Mallard is able to see through the sky since she is no longer obstructed by another person. By asserting that the light sky is observed from the west, it symbolizes the end of day. She had imagined that her life was ending due to the many restrictions she faced. However, she is feels there is light at the end of the tunnel, hoping to experience the free world.
The two paragraphs have a great impact on the subject of confinement and oppressiveness addressed in the story. Chopin illustrates how marriages are oppressive amidst any possibility of kindness. Mrs. Mallard admits that although her husband had been kind and loving, his death has become a sign of joy to her. Her reaction does not show any malice especially when she explains there was love between Brently and her and fails to highlight the ways in which she had been oppressed. She feels the death of her husband releases her from oppression which had robbed her off her happiness. Paragraphs 5 and 6, thus, describe the arriving freedom which can be felt in the air. The approaching spring and the blue signify her freedom from oppression. At last she is filled with hope of a more open life where she can make her own decisions.
The Story of an Hour
Essay 2 B
Kate Chopin’s story utilizes different forms of irony to explore the key theme. With the reported death of Mr. Mallard at the beginning of the story, a situational irony is observed at the end due to the unexpected twist of events. The key irony witnessed is perhaps the changing of events that suggest that Blently is dead and Mrs. Mallard has fully become alive. This abruptly changes in the end when Louise who seems to have “triumph in her eyes” suddenly dies when the door is opened and she sees her husband while descending the stairs. In the last paragraph, the author narrates, “When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease — of joy that kills” (Chopin para. 21). Mr. Mallard had not died from the train as the other characters imagined. Instead, he appears and the wife is the one who ends up dying.
The author has also utilized verbal irony in the story. That is, the statement made by the author in a story which means the opposite of its actual meaning. While Chopin utilizes several verbal ironies through the story, an example at the end of the narrative is the use of “days ahead of her.” It seems that the phrase denotes a longer and free life for Mrs. Mallard. In fact, the author states, “She breathed a quick prayer that life might be long” (Chopin para. 18). It appears that Mrs. Mallard is breathing the fresh air of a longer life she expects ahead. Instead, the reader learns that the “days ahead” connotes the figurative days after life. Mrs. Mallard soon dies, having a peaceful rest and free from the oppressive marriage, away from her husband.
The use of irony in the story impacts the main subject of the story which is oppression in marriage and the struggle for freedom. Through the situational irony, it becomes apparent that Mrs. Mallard is eager to get away from the confined marriage institution. This can be observed from the “triumph in her eyes” as well as the fact that she “breathed a quick prayer that life might be long.” With the joy of finally being free, Louise ends up dying when she gets shocked after discovering that her husband is still alive. The verbal irony also denotes the freedom from marriage confinement. When Chopin refers to the “days ahead of her,” it is clear that Mrs. Mallard expects to escape from the oppressive marriage; however, this does not happen in the end.
Chopin, Kate. The story of an hour. Blackstone Audio, 2013.
The Road Not Taken
Essay 1 B
“The Road Not Taken” Robert Frost is a poem presenting the existing dilemma in which the speaker must choose which road to take. In the first stanza, the speaker hesitates in the course of the journey as a result of the fact that he is presented with an intersection of roads where he is forced to choose a single path. The only difference between the two is their features; one of them “bent in undergrowth” while the other was “grassy and wanted wear” (Frost 5/8). This creates dilemma, forcing the speaker to hesitate for a while to make the right choice. He understands that he cannot take both roads at the same time, and as such must take time to choose the road that will satisfy his present and future needs. After a proper consideration, the speaker chooses the “grassy and wanted wear” road (Frost 8).
The speaker hesitated in order to choose a road that is worthwhile his life. He aimed at choosing that path that has new opportunities and has been less travelled by him before. The poem presents a situation in which a choice must be made between two options. The hesitation allowed for the analysis of the choices as the final decision can either impact his life positively or negatively. This explains why the speaker took time along the intersection of the roads; he examined them carefully to make the right choice. In the poem, it is stated that he “looked down one as far as he could” to ensure he got the correct picture of the roads (Frost 4).
The speaker chooses the second road which is “less travelled.” After making this choice, he explains that he might return to take the other road. However, he makes it clear that this may not be possible since his choice will only lead him to the other road. He states that, “Yet knowing how way leads on to way, / I doubted if I should ever come back” (Frost 14-15). In this perspective, it is clear how significant the hesitation was to the speaker. He got the opportunity to choose the right road in his perspective and move forward with the choice. Through the choice, he has satisfaction that he will achieve his life dreams through the journey. The hesitation serves as a key changing point in the speaker’s life.
The Road Not Taken
Essay 2 C
Throughout the poem, readers are able to realize the mood of anticipation and the excitement as he waits to choose the right path. Reaching a crossroad of the two paths, the speaker is brought to a standstill as he is left to contemplate which road will lead him to the great destination. Anticipation can be observed when the speaker stops to contemplate; he is at first unsure of which path to choose since both of them appear appealing. As such, the speaker asserts, “Though as for that, the passing there / Had worn them really about the same” (Frost 9-10). This reveals his dilemma as he feels both roads have promising results. He further shows the similarity of the roads by asserting that “both that morning equally lay/ In leaves no step had trodden black” (Frost 11-12). With no “black” steps in both paths, the speaker anticipates that they may probably provide him with the opportunity to advance in life.
With an anticipation of better choice, the speaker contemplates of any possible future consequences in regards to the impending decision on the right path. As such, he considers the fact that his final destination depends on the decision of the road he is to choose. In the end, the speaker chooses one road that was “less traveled by” (Frost 19). He believed that this path would provide him with greater experience compared to the other that was not taken. His anticipations on the path chosen can be observed from his descriptions; he associates the path with “better claims” and “grassy.”
The speaker, however, shows a negative anticipation of the path chosen towards the end of the poem. This is evident from the title “The Road Not Taken.” Rather than focusing on the path he had chosen, he describes the path he did not take imagining whether it would have better opportunities than the one taken. Being unable to “travel both / And be one traveler” (Frost 2-3), the speaker must only rely on one path, but all of them indicate prosperity and, thus, create dilemma in anticipation. The speaker makes self-evaluation and attempts to determine if the other path could have been better, thus, revealing anticipation on the abandoned road.
Essay 1 B
The concept of justice has been elaborated in the short story, Trifles. Flaw of justice can be observed in the story when two women, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale step in to protect Ms. Wrights against the case bestowing her for killing the husband. As the story begins, the County Attorney and the Sheriff enter Ms. Wright’s house to find the evidence in the murder case. Through the conversation, some evidence can be seen; Mr. Hale explains the reaction of Ms. Wrights when she came to see the husband. He states, “she just sat there with her hands held together and looking down” (Glaspell 23). Mr. Hale felt that the “calm” reaction of Ms. Wright proved that she might have had something to do with the death of the husband. However, the two women, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hales, hide the evidence to protect her; this prevents justice.
Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters had gotten a proof that could have incriminated their friend, but decide to hide it. They find the dead bird which Ms. Wrights loved so much, and believed that this could have instigated her to kill her husband. When they find the dead bird which Ms. Wrights loved so much, Mrs. Peters hides the bird. This is indicated in the play, “[Suddenly Mrs. Peters throws back quilt pieces and tries to put the box in the bag she is wearing. It is too big. She opens box, starts to take bird out, cannot touch it, goes to pieces, stands there helpless. Sound of a knob turning in the other room snatches the box and puts it in the pocket of her big coat]” (Glaspell 30). By hiding evidence and tampering with the proof of the possible Ms. Wright’s murder charges, the two women cause a flawed justice in the society.
Flawed justice could also be witnessed in the manner in which gender biasness is rampant in the play. Men have all the power in the society while women are belittled with limited rights. Apart from the fact that their role is defined domestically, they are not perceived to be important in promoting justice. The undermining of women in the play can be witnessed when the Sherriff and the attorney goes to look for evidence at Ms. Wright’s house. When Mrs. Peters tells them of Wright’s concern over her preservatives, the men become discriminatory:
MRS. PETERS: (to the other woman). Oh, her fruit; it did freeze. (To the Lawyer). She worried about that when it turned so cold. She said the fire’d go out and her jars would break.SHERIFF: Well, can you beat the woman! Held for murder and worryin’ about her preserves.COUNTY ATTORNEY: I guess before we’re through she may have something more serious than preserves to worry about.HALE. Well, women are used to worrying over trifles (Glaspell 23).
By suggesting the women are always worried about “trifles” rather than important views, it is evident that they are discriminated upon. This is itself a lack of justice since women’s rights are undermined, thus, a flawed justice system.
Glaspell, Susan. Trifles. Baker’s Plays, 2010.