Interpretative Analysis Discussion
Important: NO plagiarism, original words (your own words).
Answer one (1) of the interpretive prompts in a short paragraph (Min. 150 words) in the following format:
- Answer a question with a declarative thesis or theory that directly addresses the prompt.
- Use specific textual evidence (direct quote from primary text) to support your theory.
- Introduce a quote – “set the stage” with how this quote supports your assertion.
- Use a signal phrase that identifies a character or narrator or situation and copy the quote exactly as it is written in the text.
- Finish the quote with an appropriate parenthetical citation.
- Interpret how the quote relates to the context of the literature – “So What” (beyond the obvious literal translation) does this quote prove?
Chopin: “The Story of an Hour”
- Having experienced the deaths of her father and her husband in her own life, how does Chopin portray the effects of death in the life of her protagonist? How does death become a catalyst for a symbolic journey away from patriarchal authority? Where does Mrs. Mallard travel?
- What does Mrs. Mallard’s “heart trouble” and her “physical exhaustion” imply? How do Chopin’s domestic settings of a room, a staircase, and a front door reflect a 19th century marriage?
- How does Chopin contrast her domestic setting with sensory images of “new spring life?” What do these images symbolize?
- Shortly after Mrs. Mallard descends the stairs “like a goddess of Victory,” she dies of “heart disease—of joy that kills” (16). How is this ironic?
Chopin: "Desiree's Baby"
- Identify the 3 main “colors” of people in the story. What identity is associated with each of the colors and what is the significance?
- What does the character of Armand reveal about the historical attitudes with regard to race? What is his background? How does he treat people of color on his plantation?
- What does the fire symbolize at the end of the story? How can Armand linked to satanic or evil images?
- In this story, Chopin is encouraging a discussion of 19th century gender roles. Based on the character of Desiree, what conclusions can you draw about a woman’s place in society?
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