Irony In "The Story Of An Hour"

919 words - 4 pages

Emely EstevezProfessor EspositoNovember 6 2014English 101There are many types of irony such as basic irony which is the use of word to convey a meaning that is opposite of its literal meaning. Situational irony which is the moment a characters actions have the opposite of their intended effect. Finally there is dramatic irony which occurs when there is a contrast between the readers knowledge and the knowledge of the characters in the work. However situational irony is what mostly transpires in Kate Chopin short story "The Story of an Hour"Situational irony is used in "The Story of an Hour" through Mrs. Mallard's reaction to her husband's death. When she first heard the news of her husband's death, Mrs. Mallard, "wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment" (Chopin, 1). Everyone in the house thought that she was upset and went upstairs to be alone in her room because this is a common reaction after having just lost a loved one. Although once Mrs. Mallard is alone in her room, Chopin wants the reader to witness that she is not saddened by the loss of her husband but relieved, "When she abandoned herself a little whispered word escaped her slightly parted lips. She said it over and over under her breath: "free, free, free!"" (Chopin, 1) Although Mrs. Mallard is "free" from her marriage that does not mean that she did not love her husband, as she looks through the open window from which she gazes represents freedom and opportunities. Instead of being dark and full of grief to symbolize how one would expect her to feel, she sees patches of blue sky, fluffy clouds and treetops. She also hears singing of birds and smells a rainstorm coming. Chopin signifies this as new beginning for Mrs. Mallard. Everything that she experiences through her time of "mourning" suggests joy and a new life that awaits her. She is expected to mourn her husband's death, but she is thinking about her new life "There would be no one to live for her during those coming years; she would live for her self" (Chopin, 2) this is to be understood that she has sacrificed her life for her husband, although there is no evidence that her husband has done her living "for her". The language Chopin uses throughout her story foreshadows the ironic happiness that she feels with being free. Chopin further more tries to explain that she is not only feeling happiness through her husband's death when she writes, "She knew that she would weep again when she saw the kind, tender hands folded in death; the face that had never looked save with love upon her, fixed and gray and...

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