Chopin brilliantly uses the confined setting of the short story to underscore the themes of domestic oppression and confinement that Louise Mallard experiences on a daily basis as a female living in the late nineteenth century. The setting is confined to Louise Mallard's room, a single staircase, and the front entry of the house. This limited, minimal setting reflects the restrictions placed on Louise Mallard's life. As a female, Louise Mallard lacks agency, independence, and the ability to move freely outside of her home like Richards and her husband, Brently Mallard. Louise Mallard is confined to the house, which is a small, oppressive environment.
Despite the limited setting, Louise briefly experiences freedom for the first time when she is alone in her room. Tragically, Louise dies of a heart attack after discovering that Brently is still alive. Louise never makes it out of her restricted, limited environment and dies in her home. Louise’s tragic fate underscores the themes of domestic oppression and confinement, which stifled her growth as an individual and robbed her of her independence.