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Notes on Kate Chopin and "The Story of An Hour"

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Deborah Hoffmann

Kate Chopin: - Born 1801 - Father died when she was 4 - Raised by mother and grandmother - Married Oscar Chopin - Mother of 6 - Family moved to a Louisianna plantation and opened a general store - Husband died when she was 32 - Ran the store on her own - Moved back to St. Louis - Began work as a writer of realist fiction Women of the time often wrote gothic fiction or romance where they could be defiant and subversive through subtext, but Chopin wrote very realistic and openly about life as a woman. The Awakening - Novel by Chopin about the sexual independence of women - Results in a career scandal that causes many to denounce and even censor her work. The Story of an Hour: - Third-person limited from the perspective of Louise Mallard - Narrator leads the reader to certain conclusions by inserting her opinions on Mrs. Mallards feelings - Inside a house, - - the domestic sphere that has long been womens domain - Public: Male - Reason | Private: Female - Emotion - Over the span of one hour, played out chronologically - - Flashbacks about Mrs. Mallards life - Complication/conflict: - - Her husbands death at the beginning - Crisis point: - - Her husbands return - Resolution: - - Mrs. Mallards death - Finds independence and self assertion that the other characters are unaware of - - Dramatic irony - Mrs. Mallards ailment: - - Was it physical?
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