“The Story of an Hour” and “How To Tell a True War Story”: Annotated Bibliography

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The texts chosen for this annotated bibliography are “The Story of an Hour” and “How To Tell a True War Story”. These novels were at top choice because they presented a sufficient amount of evidence and detail as to how they correlate. Chopin and O’Brien effectively displayed their purpose for writing the stories with the use of literary devices, such as the author’s word choice, or diction. The books “The Story of An Hour” and “How to Tell a True War Story” both showed how significant someone can be which are completely, carefully studied critically through the formalist, feminist, and mental techniques.  Chopin wrote a number of books, including Desiree’s baby, which was most notable for its content. In this short story book, Chopin told the story of a woman who went through difficult times after having gave birth to her son. The main character’s husband was in doubt over Desiree’s ancestry since the son had the color of an African American. It is revealed that the husband’s ancestry is uncertain later on in the story. “The Story of An Hour” is not affiliated with any organizations or corporations, but was published in 1894 in Vogue. Although this source was published in 1894, it is not out-of-date for the topic.

The author’s intended audience were the women because she exemplified women’s roles in marriage and feminine identity. Chopin believed that social-constructed gender roles led to aggression in marriages in the 20th century. In the beginning, Mrs. Mallard realized she was not “free”, which meant she was bound by her husband. Chopin painted this picture to show the real struggles of what married women, or women in relationships go through with their male partners. The formalist strategy focused on specific elements of a text such as imagery and tone. “Patches of blue sky”, “sparrows were twittering”, and “new spring life” are elements analyzed by the formalist strategy which helped with the text’s structure. The information in the novel appeared to be valid and well-researched because there are many women who feel some type of way in a male-dominated society. Some women who grew up or were married into male-dominated societies do not always feel they have the necessary freedom as a woman. They most likely feel as if they cannot do anything but whatever a male figure orders them to do. There are real-life instances of this which makes the information appear valid.  O’Brien obtained his education at Macalester College and Harvard University and got drafted into the Vietnam War. His service in the war heavily influenced his works of writing books. For instance, he wrote a series of books like “If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Ship Me Home”, “Northern Lights”, “The Nuclear Age” and plenty more. Even though this story was published in 1987, it is current to the topic in analyzing how the psychological strategy is used to analyze how impactful someone is in another person’s life.

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The mental techniques are related to this source because it analyzed how it affected Rat Kiley’s emotions. He was hurt on the inside due to his best friend’s death which impacted and affected his mental and emotional state. Death can either inspire, motivate or tear someone down. It all depends upon how someone responds to a loved one’s passing. O’Brien expressed Rat Kiley’s feelings as sadness because he wanted to paint the picture of reality. Not everyone can handle death very well, and O’Brien made it seemed true to experience. Authors have an intended audience they please to target to get them interested in reading their work which appeals to their emotions. O’Brien addressed the people who were actually affected by a loved one’s death in war. The author used Rat Kiley’s experience to get others to be able to relate to his feeling about his best friend’s death. Although this story isn’t true, it seemed realistic in its events to get readers to understand and hopefully be able to relate to the situation itself. Many people who have read this book probably has felt the same way about someone who they were very close to. O’Brien appealed to the audience’s emotions to create an emotional response.

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“The Story of an Hour” and “How To Tell a True War Story”: Annotated Bibliography. (2022, Aug 31). Retrieved from


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