“The Story of an Hour”
by Kate Chopin
Skills: annotation, close reading,
writing a thesis
Annotation
1.
Read the prompt:
Write an essay in which you analyze how
Kate Chopin, in “The Story of an Hour,”
reveals Mrs. Mallard’s mental state.
Annotation
2. First reading:
–
–
–
Try to get a sense of Mrs. Mallard’s mental state. Does it
change? How? Highlight individual word choices that
contribute to our sense of her mental state.
Make marks on the text such as the following:
yes you agree
+ new concept/idea
? don’t understand
X
!
*
you disagree
WOW
important
Circle and define the following as Chopin uses them in the
passage. Provide a one-word synonym to each. Write the
synonym in the margin.
veiled
repression
riot
intelligence
tumultuously
delicious
will (para. 14)
Close Reading
3. Second reading:
–
Using a second color of highlighter, mark any words that foreshadow the story’s
ending.
4. In the space below, describe the irony of the ending.
5. How would you define the narrative point of view of “The Story of an Hour”? How
does it affect our interpretation of the story?
6. Address the story’s ending. What is the possible meaning of the story’s last line?
7. Create a chart. In the left column, you will enter at least five words or phrases
that contribute to the audience’s sense of Mrs. Mallard’s mental state. Include
paragraph numbers for easy reference. In the right column, include your
analysis of how those words/phrases give us an idea of her mental state.
WORDS/PHRASES
“wept… with sudden, wild abandonment”
ANALYSIS
Mrs. Mallard appears to be
terribly upset about the death
of her husband.
8.2 Paragraphs
Transition/Topic Sentence (1)
 Two Quotes (2)
 Explanation of Quotes (4; 2 per quote)
 Paragraph mini-conclusion (tie directly to
thesis) (1)

Thesis Statement
Prompt:
What techniques does Chopin use in The Story of an
Hour to reveal Mrs. Mallard’s mental state? (think:
word choice, irony, foreshadowing)

Thesis must be in 3-prong format.
–
–
Ex: Chopin helps the reader understand Mrs. Mallard’s mental
state through the use of ______, ______, and ______.
No, it does not have to be worded that way, but it must follow
that format.
Outline Essay

I.
Topic Sentences and quotes. Example:
Introduction
I.
II.
II.
Body Paragraph 1 (8.2)
I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.
VI.
III.
IV.
V.
Background on Story of an Hour
Thesis: Mrs. Mallard’s mental state… (write out whole thing)
Transition/topic Sentence: (write out sentence)
Quote- write quote
Explanation
Quote- write quote
Explanation
Mini-conclusion
Body Paragraph 2 (follow above format)
Body Paragraph 3 (follow above format)
Conclusion
I.
II.
III.
Transition sentence
“Why I’m right” statement
Tie back to Thesis
Rhetorical Triangle
Rhetorical Framework
Rhetorical Continuum
What prompts the
author to speak at
that time?
To whom is the author
writing? How does the
author appeal to the
audience?
Does the author show his credibility
– that he knows relevant info about
the topic? Is he believable?
What does the author want to
happen? What does the author want
the audience to believe or do?
Does the author offer a clear, reasonable
central idea? Does he develop it with
appropriate reasoning, examples, or details?
Does the author draw on the
emotions and interests of the
audience so they will
sympathize and buy into his
central idea or argument?
Word choice
Sentence structure
“word pictures”
that appeal to
senses
Descriptive language such
as metaphor, simile,
personification, symbol, etc.
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