Physical setting

The short story “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin presents events that take place over an hour, as the title indicates. This, therefore, suggests the very short period of time in which Louise Mallard is able to experience a feeling of freedom. It could also indicate, more broadly, the very small amount of time in which women at the turn of the 19th century were generally able to feel free in their lives.

The events take place in Louise Mallard’s house. After hearing the news of her husband’s death, Louise Mallard retreats into her room, which becomes a significant point of the physical setting. Louise retreating to her room suggests she rejects Josephine and Richard’s attempts to comfort her and chooses instead to analyze her husband’s death on her own. This could be considered Louise’s first step towards independence. Louise’s room is the place where she discovers her freedom and enjoys the new-found independence it brings with it. Particular attention is given to the open window, through which Louise looks at the view outside:

She could see in the ...

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