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Kate Chopin: Giving Stories Life

             An author's style has very much influence on the development of the story. Style is simply the use of language, setting, atmosphere, or mood used by the writer to give the reader the full picture. In "The Story of an Hour" and "The Storm", Kate Chopin creates an atmosphere so intense that it can almost be considered a character in itself.
             In "The Story of an Hour", after Mrs. Mallard learns of her husband's death, she retreats to her room. This is where Chopin goes to work creating an atmosphere. For example, "the tops of trees that were all aquiver with new spring life", "delicious breath of rain", and "sparrows twittering in the eaves"; this use of imagery allows us to see exactly as Mrs. Mallard does. There is also another line in the story that seems to be very significant; "There was something coming to her.She felt it, creeping out of the sky, reaching toward her through the sounds, the scents, the color that filled the air." This is where the story comes alive and Mrs. Mallard reaches her epiphany. Without Chopin's creation of atmosphere and mood, the rest of the story would not make much sense.
             "The Storm" is another of Chopin's stories in which the atmosphere she has created is imperative to the development of the story. In the beginning, certain phrases like "sombre clouds that were rolling with sinister intention" and "it shook the wooden store and seemed to be ripping great furrows in the distant fields," are used to create the atmosphere. Chopin's use of personification brings the storm to life. The action in the story seems to follow right along with the course of the storm. It is rather obvious that this story could not even take place without Chopin's manufactured atmosphere.
             In both, "The Story of an Hour" and "The Storm", Kate Chopin has gone to great lengths to make each part of her story essential. In both stories, not only does the setting almost take on the role of a character, but without the setting, the plot and action of each could not have occurred has intended.

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