15 October 2021

Episode 1 - Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour”


We begin our wandering with the famous Chopin short story, exploring topics of reading aesthetically, freedom, tragic hamartia, female silencing, and some missteps in reading Victory.

“If freedom is not an absolute, then are alienation (Otherness) and ‘monstrous ideas’ always a ‘suspension of intelligent thought’?”


Complete Resources: https://waywordsstudio.com/project/chopin-story-of-an-hour/


00:00      1. Introduction: Chopin & “The Story of An Hour”
04:30      2. Reader-Response: Reading “aesthetically”
09:11      3. Historicism: Train Wrecks and Contexts
14:02      4. Historicism: Published Versions and Original Texts
24:32      5. Modernism: Joyful Irony and Foolishness; Containers
35:31      6. Close Analysis: The “It” from the Window
42:33      7. Classical Thought: Tragedy; Hamartia
46:22      25. Related Works: A Quick List
47:37      26. New Historicism: Authoring Chopin
49:06      27. Literary Mis-Allusions: Victory
52:00      28. Personal Reflection
57:27      29. Closing Credits

    • *8. Feminism: Thinking on Violence and Silence
    • *9. Psych Theory: “Freedom from” and Alienation
    • *10. Sociological Theory: Public & Private Grief; Privilege to Reflect
    • *11. Structuralism: Semantic intensionality; the Hourglass Structure
    • *12. Marxism: Traps of Privilege; Bird in a Gilded Cage
    • *13. Queer Theory: “Heart Trouble” and Silences
    • *14. Deconstruction: Freedom in the Wild
    • *15. Dialogics: Voices, Texts, and Readers
    • *16. Poetry Link: De Maupassant: “Nuit de Neige”
    • *17. New Sentiment: Our “possession of self-assertion”
    • *18. Minority Criticism: Absence and Consequence
    • *19. Philosophy Connections: Existentialism’s “Pour soi”
    • *20. Post-Colonialism: Mitsein and Self-Determination
    • *21. Critical Review: Karami and Zohdi’s Feminism
    • *22. In Pop Culture: 1984’s Film
    • *23. In the Classroom: Student Bodies and Silences
    • *24. ToK: Mapping Intensionality
*Available to our members on Episode 1+ (the full bonus episode)


The Waywords Podcast is the primary program of Waywords Studio (https://waywordsstudio.com). The podcast posts new material each week, with deep-dive examinations of literature around some common questions or themes and 1-3 smaller supplemental episodes in between the larger programs.

Visit us for expanded resources for guests and the Waywords community, for other programs and writing, and for opportunities to support our goal to expand reading. Resources available can include full bibliographies of material referenced, full and partial texts, annotated editions, supplemental and expanded episodes, fictional explorations, teaching and learning resources, additional essays, and online courses.

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Original music by Randon Myles (https://randonmyles.com/)

Chapter headings by Natalie Harrison and Sarah Skaleski


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. It is open to be used and adapted for all not-for-profit uses with proper attribution.


Chisnell, Steve. “Kate Chopin’s ‘The Story of an Hour.’” Waywords Studio, 15 Oct. 2021, https://waywordsstudio.com/project/chopin-story-of-an-hour/.

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