The Story of an Hour and The Open Boat


Two stories are featured: The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin and The Open Boat by Stephen Crane. Both authors create some specific expectations to the readers but later frustrate them. This is discussed below;

The Story of an Hour

The story of an hour by Kevin Chopin narrates the reaction of Mrs. Mallard upon learning about her husband’s death. She was devastated and sank into a moment of pure sadness and grief. Her sister Josephine and her husband’s friend Richards were by her side. The author describes the reaction of Mrs. Mallard when she was alone in the room to appear like she succumbed to the pressure built on her by the sad news and died. The author writes, ‘Her pulses beat fast, and the coursing blood warmed and relaxed every inch of her body’. On further reading the reader realizes that Mrs. Mallard is still alive and therefore we would say that the expectations of the reader are frustrated. When Brentley Mallard turns up; this serves as a prove that he was indeed alive, based on his wife’s reaction to his death the reader expects that she will be excited to learn that her husband is still alive but instead, she dies on setting her eye on her husband.

The Open Boat

This is a Stephen Crane’s short story that narrates the story of four men trapped in the sea. They are caught up in this situation for thirty hours and eventually three of them find their way to the shore. While narrating the story, the author mentions the presence of a man on the shore who seems to notice the men trapped in the sea. One of the men shouted, “Look! There’s a man on the shore!” From this statement, the author creates an expectation to the reader that this man is going to be of help but later just walks away despite the many signals sent to him by the men.


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