Kate Chopin's Short Stories

Story of an hour

The setting of the story is very limited It is confined largely to a room, staircase, and front door. How does this limitation help to express the themes or big idea of the story? In other words, why is the setting so limited?

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To unify the story under a central theme, Chopin both begins and ends with a statement about Louise Mallard's heart trouble, which turns out to have both a physical and a mental component. Her emotional and physical troubles are represented by the confined space. Louise feels confined by her marriage. She feels closed in and unable to publicly express herself as anything different than being her husband's wife. Her feelings as well as her physical ailments remain secret to the outside world: they are isolated as she is in her room. This unifies the structure and themes of the story.