The Story of an Hour Questions and Answers
by Kate Chopin

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What is a critical feminist view of "The Story of an Hour"? What is a critical feminist view of the story?

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This very short story, like many other works by Kate Chopin, has been analyzed in terms of feminist literary criticism despite Chopin never having explicitly considered herself "a feminist." Many of her works depict women in unhappy marriages and can be read as critiques of the ways in which marriage as an institution limited and oppressed women in the late 19th century. 

In "The Story of an Hour ," we find out that Mrs. Mallard, or Louise, has "heart trouble," so when her other relatives learn that her husband has been killed in a railroad accident, they have to be careful how they break the news to her. Louise feels numb and in shock at first, and she goes to her room alone to process the loss. Once she is alone, she notices the beautiful, thriving natural world outside her window, and she begins to feel hopeful. She thinks about how much time she will have for herself now that she has no husband. She whispers to herself, "Free! Body and soul free!" She knows that she will mourn when...

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What is a critical feminist view of the story?