The Story of an Hour, like other works by Kate Chopin, is one with many twists, hidden meanings, symbolism and irony. Kate Chopin always seems to have a surprise for her readers. I believe irony is shown throughout Kate Chopin’s The Story of an Hour through Mrs. Mallard’s reaction to her husband’s death, Josephine’s concern for Mrs. Mallard when she locked herself in her room and with the twist at the end of the story.
When Louise Mallard was told that her husband Brently Mallard has been killed in a train accident, she cried. The irony is that she was not crying out of sadness that her husband was now gone. She was crying because she was happy that he was gone. “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!” Her repetition of “free” shows her excitement for his death. These words show Mrs. Mallard’s new sense of herself and a new confidence as she envisions her future. The story suggests that Mr. Mallard was quite possibly a controlling husband. “There would be no one to live for during those coming years; she would live for herself. There would be no powerful will bending her in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow creature.” This gives an explanation for why Mrs. Mallard would want her husband dead.
Irony is also evident in the story when Josephine is worried that Louise has locked herself in her room and she is making herself ill when in fact she is actually contemplating how wonderful her life is going to be now that her husband is gone and won’t be coming back. This was portrayed through the words “she was drinking in a very elixir of life through that open window” and “there was a feverish triumph in her eyes and she carried herself unwittingly like a goddess of Victory.”
In typical Kate Chopin fashion, she has a twist for the readers at the end of the story. The event...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document