The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin is more on humanities sense of liberation for social forces that holds him / her down. The short story, particularly, focuses on the feminine genders side of such struggle. Caged in a patriarchal society, women have been rightfully fighting for a life worth living. Born in such a society, women are often aware of their right to happiness. In this story, it takes an accident, particularly her husbands death, for Mrs. Mallard to realize her self worth.
The story abounds in symbols and ironies. Mrs. Mallard symbolizes women's situation with respect to her role in society. Her husband represents the patriarchal mindset of culture and society. It is in a sense ironic, that Mrs. Mallards sense of awakening, her birth of a sort was made possible by the death of her husband.
In the same way, that her new-found freedom is cut short by her demise. One consistent element in Chopin stories is the idea of a foreshadowing of things to come like people destroying themselves. One would ask how this particular short story carries such particular theme. How does this and other features of her writing express what is happening in her own life? Writers are known to apply aspects of their life into their writings and works. Subsequently, an understanding into the mind of the author might reveal thematic elements of the short story into view. A further discussion regarding the life of Chopin initiated by the lecturer follows.
Opinions and reaction on such personage might be solicited from the class. Do they take a liking to such persons or not is the prime question the lecturer would ask. Some literary critics may view such process as insignificant, citing that any analysis of such works in literature must concentrate mainly on the work body rather than any external consideration outside the work. But in our case, an authors biography is part of the short story itself. The mention of Mrs. Mallards health condition at the very onset of the short story paves the way for the consistency of the story's ending.
The simplicity of the setting indicates less the material sense of the story. For everything is much a personal sensing and contradiction of the main protagonist. In fact this particular part in the story is significant. She writes, She could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life.
The delicious breath of rain was in the air. In the street below a peddler was crying his wares. The notes of a distant song which some one was singing reached her faintly, and countless sparrows were twittering in the eaves." Sensory images flood her being and all of a sudden the vision of the window means a lot to her. These nostalgic sensory images are an onset of Mrs.
Mallard sense of liberation. The vision through the open windows means a fresh and alternate perspective into her life.