Irony in the Story of an Hour
“The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin is filled with Irony. Irony, in this story, is defined by something other than the expected happening. From the beginning, things are not what they seem. The author makes the reader believe that the main character will react in one way, but to our surprise something different happens. She creates, in our minds, an idea that there will be sorrow and mourning over death. After reading the first paragraph I thought the main character might even die because she was so saddened by the news of her late husband. Much to my surprise, the story take a whole different turn. In the beginning we are introduced to our main character, Mrs. Mallard, who has a heart problem, and has just received news that her husband has been killed in a train accident. As one would expect, she cries and runs to her room seeking solitude. As the author begins to describe a feeling that is creeping up on her, I was sure it was a reference to death. “There was something coming to her and she was waiting for it, fearfully. What was it? She did not know; it was too subtle and elusive to name. But she felt it creeping out of the sky, reaching toward her through the sounds, the scents, the color that filled the air.” Ironically, the feeling that was creeping up on her was freedom. It is not because she is sad that she continues to weep, but because she now can live happily. The author begins describing the scenery outside Mrs. Mallard’s window and as the reader; you can feel the weight lifting of her shoulders. As Chopin reveals to that Mrs. Mallard is excited and renewed at the thought of living for herself, I felt tricked. Another instance where irony is used in this story is how the scenery from outside Mrs. Mallard’s window is being described. You would imagine that with the news of death, you wouldn’t find beauty in anything. However, Chopin made a point to talk about new life, the freshness of spring, and blueness of the...
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