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Historical Context in The Story of an Hour

Historical Context Examples in The Story of an Hour:

The Story of an Hour

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"doctors..."   (The Story of an Hour)

In the late 19th century, most doctors were men. Notice how these doctors draw exactly the wrong conclusion: that Louise was so in love with and dependent on her husband that the surprise of his arrival killed her. The doctors make a sexist and false assumption about Louise, assuming her complete devotion to her husband; it’s sexist because the same devotion would not necessarily be assumed of men.

"There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature...."   (The Story of an Hour)

Louise continues her moment of epiphany with a strong condemnation of societal expectations. Through Louise, Chopin writes that both men and women believe they have the right to control others; in the 19th century context of the story, the majority of that control would have been exercised by men, making Louise's observations critical of treatment of women at the time.

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