"The Story of an Hour," written by Kate Chopin in 1894, reflects a cultural context that didn't allow many freedoms to women, and this trap of a patriarchal code is what the plot hinges on.
At the time the story was written, women in many American societies were not allowed various legal or monetary rights. There are a few context clues regarding the setting provided in the story, such as the "railroad disaster" that Mrs. Mallard believes her husband has died in and the use of a telegram to convey information. Other than a few such details, the setting could be almost any woman who feels trapped by her marriage and her role in society.
Most of the (brief) action takes place in a short period of time and inside Mrs. Mallard's bedroom, an intimate space. When she takes in the news of her husband's death, she looks out at her surroundings:
Trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life. The delicious breath of rain was in the air. . . . The notes of a distant song which some one was...
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