Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Story of An Hour by Kate Chopin

Some Guide questions:

What is your personal response to "The Story of an Hour"? To Mrs. Mallard? In what ways do you think that your own experiences have affected your response?

What sort of person do you picture Mrs. Mallard to be? What sort of marriage do you think she has? Does her behavior seem plausible to you?

Were you surprised by the ending? Did you see any foreshadowing hints in the story?

Foreshadowing is used in written art and film to give hints about things to come in later plot developments. It can be very broad and easily understood, or it may be complex use of symbols, that are then connected to later turns in the plot. Sometimes an author may deliberately use false hints, called red herrings, to send readers or viewers off in the wrong direction.

A red herring refers to a device or diversion used to distract the onlooker from the original idea. Red herrings are often seen in films, adventure games, and puzzles. However, the most common use for a red herring is in literature, especially mystery and thriller stories.

Simply put, a red herring is an item which has no use in the story except to distract the reader from the real culprit. The red herring can take the form of a character, which the reader may believe to be the killer, only to discover later that he is innocent. Or it can take the form of an item which readers believe to be the clue to a discovery, but which turns out to be worthless.

What details of the story are especially significant? What questions do you have about the story at this point?

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