The Story of an Hour

This study guide will help you analyze the short story “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin. We will show you examples of the elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. You can also find a summary of the text, as well as inspiration for interpreting it.

Presentation of the text

Title: “The Story of an Hour” (1894)
Author: Kate Chopin
Genre: Short story

Kate Chopin (1851-1904) was an American novelist and short story writer, known for describing the inner struggles of women. After the 1950s, Chopin’s literary work was rediscovered and praised by critics.

Excerpt

Below, you can read an excerpt from our study guide:

Marriage and social rights

The short story was published in 1894, at the turn of the 19th century. During that time, women were generally expected to get married, have children, and obey their husbands. A married woman had fewer rights than a single woman, as all her property was owned by her husband. This hints at the wider social setting of a patriarchal society, in which women were often oppressed and denied freedom and rights.

Even though the marriage between Louise and Brently is not a particularly happy one, divorce does not seem to be an option, as it was not considered socially acceptable in that era. The grounds for divorce included infidelity, crime, and violence, yet it was almost impossible for women to obtain a divorce from their husbands even in those conditions.

The turn of the 19th century also introduced a context in which women began fighting for their rights and asserting their independence.

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The Story of an Hour

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