The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

The Story of an Hour book cover
Start Your Free Trial

In "The Story of an Hour" what is the apparent attitude of the narrator toward the institution of marriage?

Expert Answers info

Lynn Ramsson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write785 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

The narrator of Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour" tells the story of Mrs. Mallard in a detached tone, and this matter-of-fact approach to storytelling actually reveals very little about the narrator's own attitude toward marriage.

This detachment on the part of the narrator is more artistically useful than a more suggestive tone that does demonstrate an emotional attachment to the notion of marriage; the narrator's emotional distance allows the reader to experience shock at the unexpected realization that Mrs. Mallard was actually happy and relieved to hear the news of her husband's death.

Though the narrator's attitude toward marriage is unclear, a reader can make a thoughtful argument around the attitude of the author, Kate Chopin, toward marriage. By employing a distant and detached narrator to tell a shocking story about marriage, the author reveals her own dark and melancholy view of marriage from the point of view of a wife. The subtlety of this approach heightens the dramatic...

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 906 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Jonathan Beutlich, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12), Professional Writer

bookB.A. from Calvin University

bookM.A. from Dordt University


calendarEducator since 2014

write5,866 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Science, and History

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write16,848 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Doug Stuva eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write1,751 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write35,413 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial