Response 1 – Re-presentation: Kate Chopin’s The Story of an Hour (4.1)

by Cate Blouke


This image represents a condensation of Megan Cross’ interpretation of Chopin’s story. In some ways, it acts as an illustration of the experience of watching Cross’ project. Dominating the right hand side of the image is the face of a dark-haired woman with a flower in her hair, her eyes downcast, with a tear running down her left cheek and another tear formed in the corner of her right eye. Running across the bottom of the image on the left-hand side, stopping in the center just shy of the woman’s chin, is a ghostly, semi-transparent picture of an old-fashioned train, smoke pouring from the engine, charging toward the viewer (and the woman) from the distance. Both the train and the woman are grayscale images, trapped in an isolated and lonely past. Behind the woman and the train, dominating the upper-left two-thirds of the image is a cherry tree in full bloom, with the sun shining through the branches from behind. The pink colors of the blooms are visible, yet still muted so as not to overwhelm the image as a whole. Superimposed over the blossoms and the smoke of the train is a semi-opaque grey text box featuring the words highlighted by Cross’ project. Rather than retaining the student’s original color-coding precisely, the words in this image are instead grouped spacially according to Cross’ colors and conceptual interpretations, retaining the order in which they appear in her project. Centered in the text box and descending line by line, the first block of words (Heart trouble, death, killed, railroad disaster, alone) appear in red – as in Cross’ interpretation. Then, with a return carriage between each, “no one” and “fearfully” appear in a faded, coral color. Following this, we see a significant shift in color (and attitude) and the following words appear in a bright shade of yellow: color, spring, summer, opened the door, goddess of victory. Here, the text shifts again, back to the shade of coral (as we return to the sentiments preceding Mrs. Mallard’s revelation), in the following words: far, cry, joy. The final word of the text is “kills,” returning to the original shade of deep red.
Works Cited

ayemo. “Tears.” Photograph. Flickr. Yahoo, 10 August 2008. Web. 7 November 2012.

centrifuga. “Lullaby.” Photograph. Flickr. Yahoo, 24 Mar. 2006. Web. 7 Nov. 2012.
Colourless Rainbow. “Tears and Rain.” Photograph. Flickr. Yahoo, 10 July 2011. Web. 7 November 2012.
Khairil Zhafri. “Cherry blossom.” Photograph. Flickr. Yahoo, 2 May 2011. Web. 7 November 2012.
Le train à vapeur de Clermont-Ferrand à Montluçon (France).” Photograph. 12 June 2010. Web. 7 November 2012.