Examples of Irony in the Story of an Hour and Richard Cory

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Kray 1
Rashell Kray
Mrs. Altiero
English II CPE
12 April 2011
Realism Essay
Irony is all around in everyday, daily, lives. Sometimes people don’t notice it, but if they would take a step back and really look, irony would be right there. In “The Story of an Hour” and “Richard Cory” irony takes place quite a bit. The irony in “The Story of an Hour” is that Mrs. Mallard’s husband dies, and as soon as she hears of this news, she starts feeling relieved, free, and happy. In “Richard Cory”, the irony is that he was a very wealthy, good-looking man, who everybody envied, and yet he went home and committed suicide. These stories both have irony in them, in similar, and in very different ways.

In “The Story of an Hour,” Mrs. Louise Mallard is an elderly woman who has an ill heart. She has heart conditions, but yet her sister, Josephine, and her husband’s best friend, Richards, had to somehow break the news of her husband’s death to Louise. When thinking of anybody’s significant other passing away, people would be distraught and completely devastated at the thought. However, Louise takes it surprisingly well. She goes up to her room, isolates herself in there, and “Free! Body and soul free!” (Kate Chopin 1) are the words she started whispering repeatedly. This is very ironic because one wouldn’t think that she would be happy at the news of her husband dieing. Another example of irony in this piece of writing is towards the end, “When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease—of the joy that kills” (Chopin 1). This is another example of irony because when the word joy is said, it usually symbolizes glee, satisfaction, happiness, bliss, and pure delight. When it is used in the same sentence and saying that the joy was what killed Louise, it brings irony. Joy doesn’t usually kill, but in this case, it does.

In “Richard Cory” there is a great deal of irony as well. In this story, a man by the name of Richard Cory had it all, or so it seemed....
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