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Setting and Character Development in Short Stories

            Setting is where and when a story takes place, and it can often reflect the situations the characters are experiencing by reinforcing their emotions. In, "The Story of an Hour," by Kate Chopin, the setting is used to help further develop and reflect the main character's struggles. There are two different settings in this short story, one of which is in the public, downstairs in Mrs. Mallard's home. The other is upstairs in confinement, which allows the story to truly unfold. Without the use of the setting in, "The Story of an Hour," Louise Mallard's revelation of her oppression and conclusion to her husbands death would not have transpired the way it did. "Hills like White Elephants," by Ernest Hemmingway, is set in a train station in Spain. This short story also has the double setting feature; on their side of the tracks there is arid dry land, and barren. On the opposite side of the tracks there is fertile, vegetated land. Both of these opposing setting show the struggle that the character is facing. John Updike and his short story," A&P," also show how the setting can reflect on the situations the character is facing. Sammy works at the local, A&P; the setting shows that the A&P is a very dull, boring place that Sammy really doesn't like. This factor aids in Sammy's concluding decision to quit. It is evident that within these 3 short stories, each of the authors uses setting to help emulate the character's conflict situations. .
             "The Story of An Hour" by Kate Chopin uses a dual setting feature to mirror the conflicts present. This short story is set during the feminist movement and a time of women's oppression. The first setting is downstairs in Mrs. Louise Mallard's home where she receives the news of her husband's death from her sister Josephine. The second setting of "The Story of An Hour" leads us upstairs to the confines of Louise's room; she is now alone with her thoughts.

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