The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

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What is the tone in Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour?"

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Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour" seems to be about a woman with a bad heart who dies when she finds out her husband is still alive—after he has been reported killed. This is not the case at all.

One of the things that makes this story so masterfully written is that Chopin is able to stun the reader in a few short pages: it startles and then creates questions for debate.

Louise Mallard hears that her husband has been killed in a train wreck. She is told in the kindest way possible and breaks down immediately, crying in her sister's arms. However, it is not until she retires to her room, with time to think, that she begins to see the world in a completely different way, one that she fights off at first, defending her psyche against ideas that she initially rejects.

Note that it in this Victorian society, women belonged to their husbands: they were considered weak, helpless...

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