The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

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What is the central issue of "The Story of an Hour?"  What is the conflict and how is it resolved?

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The central issue, or "conflict" in "The Story of an Hour" is that of woman versus society. Mrs. Mallard is a middle-class, Victorian woman living during a time period when the social expectations bestowed upon women are both repressive and limiting. They are repressive because they force women to adhere to certain rules of moralistic decorum and nearly puritan behavior that are in no way realistic, or in tune with the real wants and needs of all females. As such, women like Louise have to, essentially, play by the rules of whatever stereotypes are expected of them.

The expectations are also limiting because they constrain women to fulfill specific roles: wife, mother, daughter, nurturer, angel of the household, and natural-born entertainer to her peers.

Louise Mallard is one of these women. She is also dissatisfied and unhappy. She feels a degree of love for her husband, but something else lurks inside her: a desire for freedom that she only learns about when she hears news that her...

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