This powerpoint accompanies teaching of Kate Chopin’s The Story of an hour from the Draft IGCSE anthology for 2016 teaching in English Language. The text is one of the short stories in section B for paper 2.
It is pretty self explanatory and covers a SCASI outline for a typical Chopin tale.
The tale is pleasingly ironic and focused as so often on the position of women in society in 19C Southern USA. It does not have the racial overtones of many of Chopin’s stories, however.
What it centres on is one woman’s awakening to the possibilities presented by her husband’s death. Her epiphany allows her to sense freedom for the first time in her life and to view this freedom as the “elixir of life” -emphasizing the importance Chopin places on women’s freedom in a deeply patriarchal and controlled society.
The irony of the closing paragraph- as her “heart condition” catches up with Mrs Mallard is clear for the reader to discern and possibly suggests Chopin’s own bitterness about the apparent impossibility of women ever truly discovering their freedom at this time.