I n analyzing literature one must take into account the author's use of rhetorical devices such as plot, character, setting, dialogue, description, point of view, and diction. All of these elements operate within structure. Structure is the general form that a story takes "the presentation of a conflict, escalating suspense to a pinnacle, and then ending in an ultimate resolution. In "The Story of an Hour- by Kate Chopin, structure plays a significant role. The components of structure reveal certain characteristics about the plot, and are essential to the comprehension of the short story.
"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 husband's death- (Chopin, 1). Chopin immediately begins the story with inciting action, the death of Mrs. Mallard's husband. She then takes a step back to describe the actual situation "who broke the news, who else is present, and how Mrs. Mallard's husband "died-. As soon as the news is revealed to Mrs. Mallard, she instantaneously wept uncontrollably in her sister's arms. Mrs. Mallard then went to her bedroom to be alone, "when the storm of grief had spent itself- (Chopin, 1).
Once in her bedroom, the main setting of the story, Louise sunk into an armchair, began to absorb the sights out her window, and inhaled "the delicious breath of rain- (Chopin, 1). This is interesting because one would think that someone mourning a lost love wouldn't take in beautiful sights or scents. She then began to sob and Chopin described the "dull stare in her eyes- as Mrs. Mallard contemplated what had just happened. The suspense elevates when she begins to feel "something- coming to her. Chopin describes this event with colorful diction and metaphorically represents the "something- with human qualities, "reaching toward her- and "approaching to possess her- (Chopin 1).