Paragraph composition: Irony in “The story of an hour”
Chopin uses irony in her short story to show that marriage in the 19th century is not always as society wants us to picture it, a love story with a loving husband and a loving wife, but reveals that even if a marriage is almost perfect, it is not impossible to be unhappy. When Mrs. Mallard hears the news that her husband past away she is at first very saddened. Chopin writes after she has wept in her sister`s arms: “When the storm of grief had spent itself, she went to her room alone.” She then writes: “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!” After that, when she sees that Mr. Mallard is not really dead, she has a heart attack and Chopin describes it like this: “When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease—of joy that kills.” When you lose someone you love, you pass the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. So in a way this really ironic because that is what society would expect of you. But as we see in the story, Mrs. Mallard weeps a little and after she is alright. She skips three of the five stages and Chopin confirms it when Mrs. Mallard starts saying that she is free. In ten minutes she had already accepted the death of her husband. Then when she sees her husband in the front door she has a heart attack. The way the doctors describe it is not what really happened. She does not die of “a joy that kills” She dies because she realizes that she is not free like she thought she would be. This just proves to us that what society expects of us is not always what happens, which shows us that life can be a little twisted and ironic at times.
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