Setting in this story is vaguely used with only the first lines alluding to the historical aspect with mentions of a “railroad disaster” and telegrams, which is unique to the time period she wrote in (Chopin 352). Otherwise, it all takes place inside two room in a large house. Rather than deter from the story, the choice to do so gives it the claustrophobic feel it needs. Chopin uses a sparse structure in writing this story. Each paragraph is short with some of them-even the beginning-only being one sentence long. It creates a fast, restrictive pace that focuses only on this event to give an almost sense of real time as the whole plot takes place in such a short time span. Using a narrative style called naturalism, she focuses on the realistic aspects of married life and adds touches of nature in her prose as symbols when describing the physical state of Louise, the main character and narrator (“the delicious breath of rain was in the air” (Chopin 352)). This...
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...This mindset even worked against Chopin from an artistic standpoint as she herself stated that the only way this story would be publish is if the character would die for wanting a life for herself. It is an unfair but harsh reality that is still faced even today.
Chopin used this story to portray a more cynical mentality toward the ways of marriage during her lifetime, questioning the domination of the roles of men in such unions. She would use this as a recurring theme in many of her other stories, some with the similar tragic results as the search and finally obtaining these goals may come at the cost of their lives. During their time, they were considered controversial for providing a voice for women when none was wanted. It would not be until decades later when these stories would find their audience and truly become appreciated for being ahead of their time.
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