Fedora by Kate Chopin, 1897 Read the rest of this entry »
The March stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.
- ‘Ibn-Hakam al-Bokhari, Murdered In His Labyrinth’ by Jorge Luis Borges
- ‘How To Tell Stories To Children’ by Miranda July
- ‘Action Will Be Taken’ by Heinrich Boll
- ‘The Two Kings And The Two Labyrinths’ by Jorge Luis Borges
- ‘The Aleph’ by Jorge Luis Borges
- ‘A Late Encounter With The Enemy’ by Flannery O’Connor
- ‘The Paperhanger’ by William Gay
- ‘Where The Door Is Always Open And The Welcome Mat Is Out’ by Patricia Highsmith
- ‘How To Talk To Girls At Parties’ by Neil Gaiman
- ‘A Subject Of Childhood’ by Grace Paley
- ‘Revenge Of The Lawn’ by Richard Brautigan
- ‘The Man On The Threshold’ by Jorge Luis Borges
- ‘The Wait’ by Jorge Luis Borges
- ‘Good People’ by David Foster Wallace
- ‘Regret’ by Kate Chopin
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Regret by Kate Chopin, 1895 Read the rest of this entry »
The August stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.
- ‘Reunion’ by John Cheever
- ‘The Crime Wave At Blandings’ by P.G. Wodehouse
- ‘Love’ by William Maxwell
- ‘The Bridal Party’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- ‘The Manhunt’ by Daniel Curley
- ‘Jeeves And The Song Of Songs’ by P.G. Wodehouse
- ‘Chapter Two’ by Antonya Nelson
- ‘Marjorie Daw’ by Thomas Bailey Aldrich
- ‘Nikishka’s Secrets’ by Yury Kazakov
- ‘The Pelican’s Shadow’ by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
- ‘Honeysuckle Cottage’ by P.G. Wodehouse
- ‘Blowing Shades’ by Stuart Dybek
- ‘Roy Spivey’ by Miranda July
- ‘Leave It To Jeeves’ by P.G. Wodehouse
- ‘Aunt Agatha Takes The Count’ by P.G. Wodehouse
- ‘Liquor Makes You Smart’ by Anita Loos
- ‘When The Light Gets Green’ by Robert Penn Warren
- ‘The Dead Fiddler’ by Isaac Bashevis Singer
- ‘La Belle Zoraide’ by Kate Chopin
- ‘The Unicorn In The Garden’ by James Thurber
- ‘Reeling For The Empire’ by Karen Russell
La Belle Zoraide by Kate Chopin, 1894 Read the rest of this entry »
The November stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.
- ‘Chickamauga’ by Ambrose Bierce
- ‘Paul’s Case’ by Willa Cather
- ‘The Veldt’ by Ray Bradbury
- ‘The Story Of An Hour’ by Kate Chopin
- ‘Of This Time, Of That Place’ by Lionel Trilling
- ‘The Nose’ by Nikolai Gogol
- ‘A White Heron’ by Sarah Orne Jewett
- ‘A Circle In The Fire’ by Flannery O’Connor
- ‘Going For A Beer’ by Robert Coover
- ‘Two Thanksgiving Gentlemen’ by O. Henry
- ‘Dawn Of Remembered Spring’ by Jesse Stuart
- ‘The Middle Years’ by Henry James
- ‘The Catbird Seat’ by James Thurber
- ‘The Wonderful Tar-Baby Story’ by Joel Chandler Harris
- ‘The Peach Stone’ by Paul Horgan
- ‘Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius’ by Jorge Luis Borges
- ‘An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving’ by Louisa May Alcott
- ‘Who Lived And Died Believing’ by Nancy Hale
- ‘The Devil And Tom Walker’ by Washington Irving
- ‘The Facts Concerning The Recent Carnival Of Crime In Connecticut’ by Mark Twain
The Story Of An Hour by Kate Chopin, 1894
The magic trick:
Using a “twist” ending to make a point – not just for dramatic effect
The matter of a “twist” ending can be suspect when it comes to earning whatever passes for artistic merit. Sure, it’s shocking to turn a story on its head in the final paragraph; to drop the viewers jaw in the final minute of a movie. But it also reeks of gimmick, while rendering repeat readings/viewings unnecessary (you can only be shocked once).
Personally? I like ’em. I think it’s pretty cool. No, I haven’t watched The Sixth Sense a second time, but that’s because I think it’s a pretty stupid movie. The ending was the one part that was interesting. Do I read O. Henry stories over and over even though I know the super-contrived “twist” ending is coming from a mile away? Yes, actually. I like them. I know some people can’t stomach that kind of thing, but that’s just not where I’m coming from.
In the case of “The Story Of An Hour,” every reader wins, whether fan or hater of the “twist” ending. Chopin uses a major twist, for sure. Without spoiling anything, we can at least say the story reverses course quite dramatically at the end. So the shock seekers will enjoy that. But the more literary-minded among us also have plenty to analyze because the twist allows Chopin to make a serious feminist point about woman’s role in marriage during the late 19th century.
Consider this the feminist O. Henry story. And that’s quite a trick on Chopin’s part.
There would be no one to live for her during those coming years; she would live for herself. There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature. A kind intention or a cruel intention made the act seem no less a crime as she looked upon it in that brief moment of illumination.