“the Story of an Hour”(1984); the Threat of Confinement and the Possibilities of 

Freedom for Women in the Late Nineteenth Century

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  • Topic: Conflation, El Chapulín Colorado, Time
  • Pages : 3 (1111 words )
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  • Published : February 17, 2011
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The possibilities of freedom for women were unlikely for women living in the 

late nineteenth century. Women were confined and overpowered by men. Kate 

Chopin, a women of the late nineteenth century herself, was a writer living within 

such a society. In "The Story of an Hour" (1894), Kate Chopin uses elements of 

settings--windows and door--in order to highlight the possibilities of freedom and the 

threat of confinement for women in late nineteenth century American society.

Chopin uses figurative language of symbols and imagery to conflate the 

possibility of freedom with the physical setting outside the window. Chopin uses the 

“open” window as a symbol to suggest freedom: She juxtaposes the comfortable, 

roomy armchair with the window to demonstrate Mrs. Mallard's feelings of freedom 

and comfortability within her own home now that her husband is dead. Mrs. Mallard 

looks out of her window into the endless opportunities she is now able to dream 

of:"There stood, facing the open window, a comfortable, roomy armchair"(Chopin

147). She uses the “tops of the trees” as symbolic imagery to describe how Mrs. 

Mallard is now feeling free. The spatial relation between Mrs. Mallard and the trees 

outside is used to suggest that freedom has become more tangible than before: "She 

could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees that were all aquiver 

with the new spring life" (Chopin 147). Chopin uses taste imagery to suggest that 

Mrs. Mallard has become more aware of her own senses and perception of 

freedom:"The delicious breath of rain was in the air"(147). Chopin conflates the 

patches of blue sky--a symbol of hope--to emphasize the unbounded prospects Mrs. 

Mallard now has facing her. Color imagery is used to suggest positive emotion: 

"There were patches of blue sky showing here and there through the clouds that had 

met and piled one above the other in the west facing her window" (Chopin 148). 

Chopin uses...
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