Appreciation «The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin

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The story of an hour is a dramatic destiny of Mrs. Mallard. The title of the story speaks for itself. The story begins with introduction of main characters to the reader and with description of key events. Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble and her sister Josephine, her husband's friend Richard did their best to break to Mrs. Mallard as gently as possible the news of her husband's death.

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Appreciation «The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin 

The story of an hour is a dramatic destiny of Mrs. Mallard. The title of the story speaks for itself. The story begins with introduction of main characters to the reader and with description of key events. Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble and her sister Josephine, her husband's friend Richard did their best to break to Mrs. Mallard as gently as possible the news of her husband's death. 

The first passage appears to be exposition, 'cause it contains a short presentation of time, place and characters of the story. Besides, from the very beginning the absence of Mrs. Mallard's name draws our attention. 

Further, the author describes Mrs. Mallard's state, how she accepted the news. He writes: "She didn't hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance". So this makes us think that she didn't accept her husband's death as a fact, but realized its significance for her, perhaps she imagined her further life without her husband, she started thinking of the way her life would change. 

"There stood, facing the open window..." There's a slight hint in this sentence, that those changes will be closely connected with the improvement of her life and "the open window" the description of awakened nature in spring suggest it. 

Here we should admit the beauty of the language the author uses. "The delicious breath of rain... There were patches of blue sky..." The epithet and metaphor are employed for the expressiveness while describing nature. 

The decisive moment comes when ... whispered word escaped her slightly parted lips. She said it over and over under her breath: "Free, free, free!" It's the climax of the story. The metaphor "escape" reveals Mrs. Mallard's state. She was unconscious of her dream to be free. Every inch of her body wished that freedom and now she realized it. She was even glad that her husband died. 

But the oxymoron "a monstrous joy" suggests that her reaction was abnormal. She was unhappy in her family life. Her husband "never looked save with love upon her. And she saw beyond that bitter moment a long procession of years to come that would belong to her absolutely...she would live for herself..." 

The antithesis in the sentence "And yet she had loved him - sometimes. Often she had not." makes us arrive at a definite conclusion that all her love towards her husband was just an illusion. But still in spite of all this she shouldn't react in this way, it wasn't correct. She was too joyful. The metaphor "she was drinking in a very elixir of life through that open window", the climax "spring days and summer days and all sorts of days"; the epithet "feverish triumph in her eyes" are employed to emphasize her state and unnatural behaviour. 

Appreciation "Cat in the Rain" by Ernest Hemingway 

The story under the title “Cat in the Rain” was written by Ernest Hemingway, one of the most favourite American novelists, short-story writer and essayist, whose deceptively simple prose style has influenced wide range of writers. 

So, the story begins with the description of the hotel where two Americans stopped. It was raining, that’s why the couple stayed in and just a cat in the rain attracted the young woman’s attention. She wanted to get the cat inside but failed and was brought another cat. 

The problem of the story lies very deeply and we are to uncover it. The story is written in one mood which constantly and directly increases. It starts from the beginning where it’s created by a persistent and repeated use of the “rain” with a number of phrases associating it, such as puddles, deserted square, glistening war monument. 

Repetition is one of the widely used and favourite stylistic devices of Hemingway. Here he applies it to reveal the relationship of the protagonist to the old hotel owner (she liked ... , she liked...). As the verb “to like” is not used to characterize relations of the wife to her husband, this contrast is full of the concealed but easily read meaning. 

Though the cases of repetition in the story may seem a bit obtrusive, their modifications enter into the core of the narration very organically. They carry emotional character, however penetrating the story the deep sorrow becomes evident gradually. We realize that little, as if meaningless, capricious wishes of a young woman reveal the drama of her fate, the absence of comfort in her life, comparable with the cat in the rain. 

The title of the story anticipates this confrontation and the fact that the cat’s image makes great play twice – just increases the total effect. In fact, the young woman pines for love, for home, for her family. And the purring cat she’d like to have and to stroke is a traditional symbol of home and comfort she lacks so much. She wants warmth, attention, care, joy, happiness; however she is brought the cat – a pitiful substitution of that, what she, a young, beautiful woman needs incredibly. This is the main problem of the novel we tried to uncover. 

Perhaps the hotel owner didn’t get the reason of her yearnings and took her wish for whim. But dignity, deference and respectfulness of the old man are confronted to egoism and carelessness of George not occasionally. The war monument is also mentioned deliberately. The world George and his wife belong to – is uncomfortable, homeless after-war world, where the fates of young people joined with such hardships and troubles. 

If to speak about the text itself, it is told in the 3rd person narrative. the description is interlaced with descriptive passages and dialogues of the personages. The author makes extensive use of repetitions to render the story more vivid, convincing, more real and emotional. 

The author's style is remarkable for its powerful sweep, brilliant illustrations and deep psychological analysis. Everything he touches seems to reflect the feelings of the heroes. 

The story reveals the author's great knowledge of man's inner world. He penetrates into the subtlest windings of the human heart. 

Appreciation "What Was It?" by Fitz-James O'Brien 

The story "What Was It?" was written by Fitz-James O'Brien, who combined elements of mysticism and real facts in his books. 

In the story we also deal with other questions: What do you consider to be the greatest element of terror? What might it [a King of Terrors] be? 

They bring us to the subject matter - fear, which is the fruit of our mind, imagination. So the narrator highlights the man-against-himself conflict, when a person's mind gives birth to his/her fears against his/her own will. 

As for the structure of the work, it begins with the exposition, for the author gives background information about the house, which "has enjoyed … the reputation of being haunted". This image is supported owing to the garden, "which is now only a green enclosure used for bleaching clothes", "the dry basin", "fruit trees ragged and unpruned". 

The movement of Mrs. Moffat's company to the house is also a part of the exposition, then series of complication come: "Our dinner conversation was supernatural", thus its participants live in the presentiment of evil. 

The second complication is "What do you consider to be the greatest element of terror", as this question provokes reflection. A case of comparison in the sentence "I feel as if I could write a story like Hoffman", who is famous for his fairy-tales, increases the mysticism of that evening. 

The examples of intensifier in the sentence "The room was in total darkness", "of personification in "The confounded themes touched on by Hammond in the garden kept obtruding themselves on my brain" and "They still crowded upon me", of comparison in "I was lying still as a corpse…" and the unusual graphic writing in "A something dropped" lead the reader to the moment of heightened tension. 

So the climax is: Then I turned to look at my captive … I saw nothing! "I saw nothing!" is the cry of the terror-stricken soul. 

There is one more sentence which is rather interesting from the point of view of form and content: "This thing has a heart that palpitates - a will that moves it - lungs that play and inspire and respire." 

This parallel construction hints that this thing lives inside a human being. 

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