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Irony in "The Story of an Hour"

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Irony in Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour”
“The story of an hour” by Kate Chopin is described as a story of great irony having many unexpected twists and turns. Situational and dramatic irony is used throughout the story. This is a story of a woman who finds out her husband’s death in a train accident and reacts with sadness in the beginning, but then realizes a freedom and relief from her repressive life. She experiences a complete joy over the death of her husband and dies from the shock of discovering that he is still alive. The first type of irony encountered is a situational irony, where there is a contrast between what is expected to happen and what actually happens. Mrs. Mallard’s discovery of her lost freedom and regaining her identity comes only after her husband’s death. In the story, dramatic irony is used when others characters believe that she has died because she is so overjoyed to see her husband alive whereas the readers know that in reality, she has died because she had a glimpse of freedom and could not go back living under her husband’s will again. After grieving with wild abandonment of her husband’s death, Mrs. Mallard seeks solitude in her room. The open window from which she gazes represents freedom and opportunities. Instead of being gloomy and dark to symbolize death, she sees patches of blue sky, fluffy clouds and treetops. She also hears singing of birds and smells a coming rainstorm. What all this signifies is a new beginning for Mrs. Mallard. Everything that she experiences through her senses suggests joy and spring-a new life that awaits her after her husband has died. She is expected to mourn her husband’s death, but she is thinking about her new life. Therefore, the language foreshadows the ironic happiness that she feels at being free. Chopin deals with the issues of female self-discovery and identity in the story.…...

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