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This Is An Essay On Kate Chopin's Use Of Irony Entitled Irony In Short Fiction. This Paper Focuses On Two Of Chopin's Short Stories: The Story Of An Hour And Desiree's Baby.

1005 words - 4 pages

Irony in Short FictionA man wins the lottery and dies the next day. Another man buys a brand new car and totals it on his way home. A woman shoots an "intruder" only to find out, once the lights are turned on, that her beloved husband had come home early from a lengthy business trip to surprise her. What do all these tragedies have in common? They are all intertwined with a cruel, twist of events known as irony.Kate Chopin, an American short story writer, made much literary use of irony. Many of her short stories started out well enough but ended quite dramatically, and often tragically. They leave the reader quite stupefied, wondering whether to laugh at the obvious, ironic twist in the story, or to cry with the victim in the story whose life was so dramatically affected by the horrible twist. A wonderful example of Chopin's love of irony is best depicted in a couple of her short stories, Desiree's Baby and The Story of an Hour.Desiree's Baby is a very short story that one would not expect to contain so much material in such a short period from beginning to end. However, the story is filled with twists, turns, and upsets, giving a brand new perspective to the meaning of irony. The story begins rather slow with no hint of any drama in the future. Desiree is a young woman, abandoned as a child, who has had the good fortune of being loved by a well-off young man, Armand. The first sign of trouble in the story appears as Mrs. Valamonde, the lady who raised Desiree from a child, is visiting Desiree and her new baby. The reader can sense a feeling of confusion and dread exuding from Mrs. Valamonde as she holds the child; however, the reader cannot determine yet what could cause such dread.The story then jumps ahead a couple of months. Desiree wakes up one morning and notices that the feeling of dread has pervaded the entire house. While idly watching one of the slave children holding her child, she notices that the slave child and the baby resemble each other remarkably. Suddenly, she knows from where that feeling of dread has arisen. When she confronts Armand, he declares that the child is black because she is black. From the story, the reader can glean the fact that Armand seems to despise the black race and therefore is extremely disturbed that his supposed son is black. Desiree vehemently defends herself as being purely white; however, Armand is not moved--he has already made up his mind. Desiree decides to leave and Armand does nothing to stop her. The last thing the reader sees of Desiree is her walking across the fields with the baby, her dress tearing and her body being cut and bruised. There is no mention as to what happens to her.The story jumps ahead once more--this time, only a couple of weeks, and the...

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