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Berkove Lawrence L Fatal Self-Assertion in Kate Chopins The Story of an Hour American Literary Realism 322 Winter 2000 152-158 Rpt In Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism Ed Janet Witalec Vol 127 Detroit Gale 2002 Literature Resource Center Web 11 Feb 2014The narration of Chopins The Story of an Hour is argued to be more ironic instead of plainspoken by critic Lawrence L Berkove author of the essay Fatal Self-Assertion in Kate Chopins The Story of an Hour Berkove recognizes the widespread pattern of critics making assumptions by takingthe words from the story literally and applying the expected and ordinary reasoning behind its unexplained concepts Unsatisfied Berkove stresses that in order to understand the underlying meaning of the story readers must pay close attention to the irony level by distinguishing between the storys narrator author and unreliable protagonist Speculations from other critics such as the belief that the story is about society or marriage provide support for Berkoves argument He argues that the story is simply only about the protagonist Louise Mallard In addition the critic makes several additionalvalid points For instance Chopin only provides one reference that could conclude to Mrs Mallard possibly living a problematic life The only access that is given to the honesty of her real life is the erratic and unpredictable perceptions Berkove blames Mrs Mallards weak observations on the storys omniscient narrator misleading and contradicted by other textual evidence While it is easy to recognize the positions of Louise readersshould be mindful of the idea in which these positions are not shared with Chopins Benkove acknowledges many instances as he distinguishes the false straightforward meaning from the actions of Louise from the significant and purposeful irony written by Chopin This critic meets the irony wherein he believes that what Louise regards as illumination are dark and twisted fantasies that reflect a confused and unhealthy mind As a final point Benkove comes to the conclusion that Louise is an extremely
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