The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

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The setting of the "The Story of an Hour" is very limited. It is basically confined to a room, the staircase, and the front entry. How does the limitation contribute to the themes of the story?

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Erin DuBuque eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The short story "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin tells of a young woman, Louise Mallard, who has just learned that her husband has died. When she hears this she weeps at first, but then she goes upstairs to her room and settles into an armchair to deal with the news. Outside she observes a lovely spring day with quivering treetops, the breath of rain, and the sounds of birds and people. She realizes that she is not grieved at her husband's death but rather happy that she is now free to make her own choices and do what she wants. She can make her own decisions without the oppressive will of her husband weighing her down.

There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature.

Limiting the setting of the story to Louise's bedroom, the staircase, and the front entry helps the reader feel the confinement that Louise has been oppressed by during her marriage. She is pent in...

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