The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

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What is the conflict in The Story of an Hour? I am not looking for an answer of 'internal' or 'external', just the main conflict. I also need an answer before January 21,2010

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The fundamental conflict in Chopin's work is the idea of what is supposed to be experienced as opposed to what is experienced.  Louise finds herself poised between these incommensurate ends when she is told of her husband's death.  The socially conditioned response is for her to mourn his passing, but the personal response which responds the essence of her conflict is the newly discovered freedom and sense of self that is now upon her.  This becomes a critical conflict within Louise.  While experiencing the loss of her husband provides one set of responses, the new definition of self which...

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mkcapen1 | Student

The conflict that I identify in the story is the oppression that Mrs. Mallard had experienced throughout her marriage.  She had not been as aware of it until she finally had the opportunity to sit back and look at what her life could be now that there is no husband to "bend her will."  She is able to look and see things in a new way, which is a freedom that she had not known before.  Instead of continuing to grieve, she starts to day dream about what will happen in her future and the new decisions that will be hers to make.   She will miss the man that was her husband but she looks forward to the freedom her future now holds. 

“But she saw beyond that bitter moment a long procession of years to come that would belong to her absolutely. And she opened and spread her arms out to them in welcome."

The conflict that the woman initially had was external because it was not she who was keeping herself repressed, but her circumstances.  In this manner the second conflict is between the woman and the restrictions society placed on her.

 

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