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The Story of an Hour

by Kate Chopin
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What year did "The Story of an Hour" take place in?

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The Story of an Hour is a fittingly concise short story by Kate Chopin, published in Vogue on December 6th, 1894. Due to the succinct nature of the short story, there is no explicit year in which the narrative is set. Thus, most critics interpret the events as contemporaneous...

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The Story of an Hour is a fittingly concise short story by Kate Chopin, published in Vogue on December 6th, 1894. Due to the succinct nature of the short story, there is no explicit year in which the narrative is set. Thus, most critics interpret the events as contemporaneous with its author or set in a vague, timeless era, like fairy tales or fables.

In many ways, Chopin's work reads like a fable; however, it is more likely that the author envisaged the narrative as happening contemporaneously, since there are specific elements that comment on social movements of the day. Most obvious is the movement for women's suffrage, which had begun in America during the late 1840s but was gaining momentum during the 1890s. Louise's joy at finding herself free from her oppressive husband, who could himself be read as an allegory for the patriarchy more generally, grounds in the story in the particular social milieu of the 1890s.

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