As we analyze a story, we have to look at it from different perspectives. We can look at it literally, metaphorically, or we can look at what it doesn’t tell us so we have to “create” our own meaning.

  • In Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour,” we only have four characters, but the main character has a serious heart condition. Just like in poetry, how can we read this literally, and then how can we read it metaphorically? Consider the time period of this story (before all the medical treatment we now have for heart disease) and the role of women at that time.
  • The story’s setting is in one house; it begins downstairs, travels upstairs to Louise’s bedroom, then returns down the stairs at the story’s end. The only glimpse we get of the outside is through Louise’s window. How does the contrast between the house and the view out the window reflect the meaning in the story? Does the upper and lower level of the house reflect possible meaning?
  • Reflect on the title of the story; what additional meaning does it add to the story?

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