Book of Student Essays

The student’s essay “A Way Out” by Samantha Knoll focuses on the theme and problems raised by Chopin in his short story “The Story of an Hour”. The author attempts to intertwine her personal experience with the experience of the main character of the story, Louise. Samantha Knoll builds up certain parallels between her personal experience and the story depicted by Chopin. At the same time, the essay focuses on the main theme which the author defines the focus of the author on “Louise’s regret and how she plans to find herself again”. In fact, this is one of the major themes of the story, but it seems as if Louise does not simply regret but she is stricken by a grief of her life and the years she believes to be lost. Therefore, it would be more logical to precise the thesis and replace the word “regret” by the word “grief”, which has a stronger connotation related to the original message of the story. On the other hand, the author probably attempted to soften the negative connotation of the word “grief” to adequately describe her personal experience. In such a context, the choice of the word “regret” seems to be quite logical.

Samantha Knoll amply uses direct quotes from the book. In fact, she constantly backs up her ideas with direct quotes which strengthen the ideas she wants to convey to the audience. In this respect, direct quotes related to the description of emotions, feelings and inner world of Louise are particularly important because they help the author to reveal the major idea of the story and back up her thesis. In other words, the direct quotes revealing the inner world and emotions of Louise are properly used by the author to show the regret of the main character of her life with her husband. At the same time, Samantha Knoll successfully contrasts these negative emotions to the joy of Louise when she feels herself free. For this purpose, she repeats the quote “Free, free, free”, with the help of which she stresses the major change that occurred to Louise after the presumable death of her husband. In such a way, the author shows that Louise does find herself again.

Furthermore, Samantha Knoll attempts to compare her personal experience to the experience of the main character of “The Story of an Hour”. In this respect, the author is quite successful because she attempts to find similarities in her own life and the life of Louise. In actuality, Samantha Knoll describes her personal experience and the setting is similar to that of Louise because she is also limited in her freedom and is under the control of her parents as Louise was under the control of her husband. In such a way, she creates two similar settings and stories. At the same time, the similarity ends up, when the time for choice comes. Samantha Knoll stresses that she does not accept the choice of Louise, even though Louise did not made her choice by herself. What is meant here is the fact that the author probably attempts to convey to the audience the idea that she does not accept such an outcome of the story. Instead, she stresses that people always have options to carry on living being themselves.

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