Repression (noun) – a mental process by which distressing thoughts, memories, or impulses that may give rise to anxiety are excluded from consciousness and left to operate in the unconscious


From “The Story of An Hour” by Kate Chopin (1894)

I came across this word while reading “The Story of An Hour” by Kate Chopin (1894). It appears around the middle of the reading when the author describes the way the girl expresses herself, it caught my interest because I had an idea of what it meant but didn’t know it’s exact definition so it made me curious to find out what the writer was trying to get at.

“She was young, with a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression and even a certain strength.”

After reading the definition of the word I better understand the context of how the author was using it in that part of the text. As seen in the quote, it’s used to describe how the girl is expressing herself and give insight of what’s going on inside her head, as if she’s trying to suppress something and not think about it even though it’s there. It’s similar to bottling up emotions as a way to cope with issues.

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