The setting is present in all types of fiction, discussing the elements of place, social context, and time in the entire work. These aspects tend to develop certain moods, qualities, character and the features of the theme. All through Kate Chopin's Short narrative, "The Story of an Hour," various forms of settings are represented as the plot develops. The narration entails a young woman's emotional condition as she discovers her own independence after the demise of her husband which then follows the drastic twist that he is actually not dead.
The tale is narrated within a scope of one hour thus implying that there is sufficient time for the characters to carry out other activities. Notably, the women are regularly inside the Mallard's house, but the men have the freedom of moving in and out. This alludes that the main action of the story is performed inside the Mallard's house which is not well explained by the author. However, there is more than one floor since there is a staircase within the house, the inner doors are locked, and Mrs. Mallard has her private apartment (Deneau 210). Within that room, there is a roomy armchair although it is hard to tell about the color or the material of the chair.
The Use of Imagery
Kate Chopin has used brilliant imagery and extensive descriptive information with the intent of contrasting Mrs. Mallard's Mundane and drab life. The author describes Mrs. Mallard's life with her husband Brently by providing information about her life. Her life information is inferred through her annexation of the following words: Concealing, abandonment, grief, paralyzed, veiled, broken and haunted.
Nonetheless, after the death of Mrs. Mallard's husband, she starts to discover the beautiful things in life which she failed to notice before. She is now able to see the "delicious breath of rain," "Patches of blue sky," and the "new spring of life." Moreover, the author uses animal imagery in the story through a representation of birds twittering (Deneau 211). This description depicts the vitality that is starting to be witnessed in Louise's life after the departure of her husband. In that, it portrays the excitement she is going through after discovering that she is free.
Consequently, the brutality of her life with Brently Mallard is taken away by his death. As a result, Mrs. Mallard is able to enjoy the new dawn in her life, the light at the end of the tunnel, which she will now be in a position to indulge in. Notably, the imagery used refers to the spring and with the understanding that spring brings about new beginnings in life.
The Significance of the Setting
The setting of, "The story of an Hour" is essential since it reflects the theme of the story by offering a simple statement of time and place that enhances the reader to predict the events that take place primarily where women live with their spouses. The story is narrated in the ancient times when women were expected to become homemakers. The action takes place at the home of Louise Mallard. Many readers and scholars are of the opinion that Chopin's story is a feminist testimonial which is against the patriarchal dominance during that era. Mrs. Mallard is presented as a weak woman who has a bad heart. Therefore, the news about her husband's death needs a gentle conveyance due to her poor state of health since notification about her husband might arrive as a life-threating shock.
The other significance of the setting is the symbolic representation of the place. The central actions of the story revolve around the bedroom where Mrs. Mallard retreats to mourn in private (Deneau 211). As she stood facing the window in her bedroom, it is viewed as her confined space where her thoughts generate revelations and insights that fosters the theme of freedom. In that, the bedroom turns out to be the place for insights, liberty, and loneliness.
The Intents of the Author in Choosing the Setting
The motives of the author in the selection of the setting were to provide the reader with a significant understanding of what is going through the mind of the main characters especially Mrs. Mallard. The setting depicts her emotions as she grieves and discovers peace and independence at the demise of her husband. Therefore, the author wants the readers to understand the time and place of the story since it will play an essential role in learning about the central theme of the story.
Kate decided to set the story in the Mallard home since it focuses on the element of freedom, the true meaning of love, self-fulfillment, and selfhood. Subsequently, when she was with her husband, she had to give all her concentration to him. The story seeks to extend the knowledge of the reader on how domineering her married life was in comparison to the prospect of being free now that her husband is dead. The setting helps us to learn about the realities of marriage for women. It suggests that despite many unions seem to be happy, in most instances they are molded with sadness and oppression that can only be understood by the individuals in the relationship. Works Cited Deneau, Daniel P. "Chopin's the Story of an Hour." Explicator, vol. 61, no. 4, summer 2003, pp. 210-213.
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