Story Of An Hour: The Role Of Character Development

  • Words 618
  • Page 1
Download PDF

The author Kate Chopin fights a battle to bring her readers thoughts provoking literature in a world where one cannot conflict with beliefs in the traditional society. In her book, The Story of an Hour Kate uses irony, character development, and plot control to bring her readers into a world of emotions that society does not appreciate. She connects character development and her plot by using vocabularies and historical irony that provokes one’s mind. Kate’s upbringing influences most of her work as she was brought up by strong-willed females who became her role model. She, therefore, developed a liking to unconventional roles for women getting the nickname “town’s rebel.” Most of her writing focuses on the relationship of women with men, their sexuality and children.

Character in a story is what stays with the reader once they complete reading the story. Chopin applies character development in enhancement of the plot of the story and brings her readers to understand the emotions of the story (Alajlan et al, 12). Character development and plot are, therefore interconnected in her story. The plot takes place primarily in Mrs. Millard’s mind making it necessary for the reader to understand her personality and the source of her thoughts. Mrs. Millard has heart trouble and is a tender woman explaining why her sister took care while delivering the news to her. These descriptions are essential to the plot of the story. In her portraits, Kate perceives Mrs. Millard as being “young with a fair, calm face whose lines bespoke repression and even a certain strength.” (Chopin, 157). These descriptions are crucial to understanding why she chooses to only grief in a span of moments.

Click to get a unique essay

Our writers can write you a new plagiarism-free essay on any topic

In the plot, Mrs. Millard resists the feelings she feels at first of being liberated because of her weak characteristic trait but later powerless to resist them. She begins to describe herself as “the goddess of victory” as feelings of freedom settle in her mind gradually (Chopin, 157). For the first time in her marriage, Mrs. Millard starts to feel charming and beautiful in her victory over the internal battle of wills that oppressed her. She gets her chance to express her newfound beauty and strength when she allows her sister to see the “triumph in her eyes.”

The connection between plot and character development is not only seen in Mrs. Mallard but also evident in Mr. Mallard. Chopin explains that there was no powerful will bending Mrs. Mallard’s will in the presence of a blind persistence in which people believed they had the right to force their will on another creature (Chopin, 158). She considered this a crime regardless of one’s intentions, either cruel or pure. The reader only gets a glimpse of Bentley Mallard in this passage. However, there is much more information revealed in this passage. Mr. Mallard was a control freak and forced his will on his wife. He possessed power as compared to her who was powerless and did not take notice of the hurt he was causing to his wife (Chopin, 158). The other characters that are minor and do not play a significant role in the story’s plot remain to the reader’s imagination.

In conclusion, one sees the development of the characters in Kate’s story as she, in turn, develops her plot. Plot and character development intertwine as the growth of one leads to the development of the other in a story. Kate is, therefore, a good writer as she incorporates these two in her Story of an Hour.

Works cited

  1. Chopin, Kate. The story of an hour. Jimcin Recordings, 1981.
  2. Alajlan, Lama Abdullah, and Faiza Aljohani. ‘The Awakening of Female Consciousness in Kate Chopin’s The Story of an Hour (1894) and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper (1892).’ (2019). 


We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you board with our cookie policy.