How Negative Discoveries Can Lead to Positive Outcomes in the Story of an Hour

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Life holds a variety of different discoveries which may result in positive outcomes, however, inevitably there will also be instances in which discoveries will lead an individual to negative consequences. The film ‘Life of Pi’ directed by Ang Lee & the short story “The Story of An Hour’ by Kat Chopin are both great representations of this notion that discoveries can result in positive or negative consequences. This can be seen in ‘Life of Pi’ when Pi loses his family in the shipwreck on the way to Canada. This obviously is a extremely negative consequence of discovering that his family has died. This is reinforced with various different film techniques which include, low angle shots and lighting. In The Story of An Hour’ the negative and positive outcome occurs in Mrs Ballard. When she hears the news that her husband has died as this clearly has a negative outcome for her, at first. The use of emotive language, allegory and metaphors are powerful tools which Kate Chopin has utilised to paint a picture of how Mrs Ballard feels about this situation and to support this notion.

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The Life of Pi and The Story of An Hour both demonstrate instances in which experiences in life may result in negative outcomes or consequences. An example of this in ‘Life of Pi’ can be seen through the scene where Pi loses his family in a shipwreck. This is obviously a very distressful moment for Pi and throughout the various scenes to follow we can see how this emotionally and spiritually affects Pi. Ang Lee cleverly uses techniques such as low angles shots and dark, dull lighting to display Pi’s feelings subliminally. The low angle shot of Pi looking up at the ship sinking portrays Pi’s helplessness to the situation as there is nothing PL is able to do to help and all he can do is watch. The addition of the dark, dull lighting creates a visual representation of how Pi is feeling at that moment, compared to before when he was a child, where there was bright vibrant colours all around him. The shipwreck along with the low angle shot of Pi are clear visual representations of a very distressful moment in his life, however the adjustment of the lighting is more of an symbolic but also visual representation of Pi’s emotional feelings to that current situation. In ‘The Story of An Hour there is a similar situation, with the understanding that her husband had died. Like in Pi’s situation this would also be very distressing. To further emphasis the grief of Mrs Ballard, Kate Choppin has used emotive language, descriptive language and imagery. Emotive & descriptive language is used to connect the reader with Mrs Ballard, this impacts the reader on a more personal level and emotional level. The line “she wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment” encourages the reader to visualise the scene and the emotions which can be seen through Mrs Ballard’s actions. To allow the audience to feel the pain on an more intense level is through descriptive language as well as imagery. This conveys how this event has physically affected Mrs Ballard, “pressed down by a physical exhaustion”. Throughout the Life of Pi’ and ‘The Story of An Hour’ we can see the negative impacts of discovery in various situations.

The destruction of the ship along with the death of Pi’s family. And death of Mr Ballard did not only produce negative consequences in the Life of Pi and The Story of An Hour but it also benefited Pithrough his journey of survival and presented Mrs Ballard with a sense of enlightenment and freedom. In the ‘Life of Pi’, Pi uses his knowledge of animals from his father and the family zoo, to survive the tests install for Pi on his journey back to civilization. This information enabled Pi to survive for a prolonged amount of time. This positive outcome is emphasised with the use of vibrant colours and brighter lighting in these particular scenes, compared to the shipwreck where it was dark and gloomy.

This is a visual representation of how this incident has had a positive impact on Pi’s life, from the edge he gained from the family zoo. ‘The Story of An Hour’ starts with Mrs Ballard feeling distressed and broken. However this feeling soon subsides and she feels “free, free, free!” “Body and soul free!” we can see how she spiritually has a new view upon life with a sense of peace and relief as she is quickly trying to move on about the news of her husband’s death. This spiritual change is expressed through the use of allegory, metaphors and emotive language.

Through ‘Life of Pi’ directed by Ang Lee and The Story of An Hour’ by Kate Choppin we can see how negative discoveries can lead to positive outcomes in the future. Even under all the pain something good comes out of it. With the use of a variety of techniques used in the film and short story, the director and writer has their own rendition of the both positive and negative consequences of discovery as seen in Life of Pi and The Story of An Hour.

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How Negative Discoveries Can Lead to Positive Outcomes in The Story of an Hour. (2022, Oct 06). Retrieved November 28, 2022 , from

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