A Story of an Hour: Irony and Symbolism

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In this short story, “A Story of an Hour”, Kate Chopin uses irony and symbolism in order to describe Mrs. Mallard’s state of being for an hour in her life. We learn of Mrs. Mallard, a woman who cried out for freedom and independency from a marriage that she did not have the desire to no longer be in. In a marriage, one can lose their identity, especially in the times of Mrs. Mallard where women did not have a voice.

The setting of this story justifies why Mrs. Mallard’s feels the way that she does. One would assume that the thought of losing a husband or wife would have been tragic, however for Mrs. Mallard it was liberating. The story was set in the late 1800’s in which women’s reason for existence was to solely take care of their home, husband, and children. Kate Chopin was raised by her mother and grandmother since her father died when she was four years old. I thought that since she did not have a father in the home that her stories would reflect the opposite of what she felt in “The Story of an Hour”. She did not seek the security of a male figure; in her case she became a feminist writer that fought for women to be able to be their own person. This story simply demonstrates that women have what it takes in order to make it and have a right to be free. In this story, Chopin states, “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.” (Chopin 654.) The plot of this story begun when her friend Josephine had to break the bad news to her that her husband was killed in a train accident with precaution due to the heart condition she developed. Just like women, she was afraid to tell her this bad news, she thought. Chopin describes it as “being told in broken sentences. (Chopin 653).” However, we find out that she “quickly moved to grief through a sense of a newfound freedom”. (123helpme.com.) She was sad in the beginning but when alone she...
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