Module 02 discussion – short stories and the humanities
I have chosen to discuss “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin. The story portrays the brutal suppression of women in 19th-century America. This is my overall impression. This story is set in the 19th century, when women had to submit to their husbands and were not allowed to have any control over their own lives. The protagonist, Louise Mallard, experiences a range of emotions upon hearing of her husband’s death, and ultimately realizes that she is finally free to live her life as she chooses. Her new freedom, however, is not to last. She dies from a heart attack after her husband comes home.
Interesting fact about the author: She was a pioneer in feminist writing, and one of the very first to discuss infidelity and sexuality. Her writing often challenges societal norms and expectations of women, and this is evident in “The Story of an Hour.”
My understanding of Humanities is enhanced by this story, which highlights the role literature plays in critiquing and reflecting on societal norms. Through the story, we see the restrictive gender roles of the time and the toll it takes on women’s mental and emotional health. It also highlights the fundamental human rights of freedom and autonomy.
A unique literary element in the story is the use of imagery to convey the protagonist’s emotions. For example, the open window symbolizes Louise’s new perspective and potential for a new life, while the closed door represents the limitations and constraints of her previous life.
This story is a must-read for anyone who loves feminist literature and social commentary. The story raises some important issues about the gender role, society expectations and human need for autonomy and freedom.