The Irony in The Story Of An Hour by Kate Chopin - Free Essay Analysis

Published: 2021-11-29
The Irony in The Story Of An Hour by Kate Chopin - Free Essay Analysis
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Literature Kate Chopin The Story of An Hour
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 951 words
8 min read

It is one of the most popular books written by Kate Chopin. In a nutshell, the story doesn't need an hour to be written. It is a concise narrative that helps dive deep into one short and simple story. It may seem obvious and not interesting at first sight. However, the truth is that the story has a hidden irony that helped it become so popular. The unpredictable twist in the story makes it thought-provoking. Readers don't understand what happens in a nutshell until they finish reading the story, which makes it very engaging. Also, there are several different ironies presented in the story. All of them get experienced by the leading character in a short period, just one hour.

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The narrative begins with the presentation of the leading character, Louise Mallard. She is a married woman who lived at the end of the 19th century. Unluckily, Louise has a critical disease. She has a weak heart, so everybody needs to take care of her. They need to keep her safe from any stressful situations because any type of stress can cause a potential heart attack that may result in death. It's a vital fact that readers have to bear in their minds. It has a significant impact on the story. Therefore, the author focuses the attention of readers on this fact. It helps create dramatic tensions when readers are transitioned to the next phase of the narrative.

Unfortunately, due to some tragic circumstances on a railway, Brently Mallard, the husband of the leading character, has died. Richards got such news. He is Brently Mallard's mate who had to inform the wife about the tragic loss of her spouse. He was informed that Louise has a weak heart. Therefore, he was puzzled because he could potentially cause another death by this news. Nevertheless, he comes to the wife's house and shares the tragic news. The reaction of Louise to the tragedy causes situational irony. This type of irony describes a situation when people's actions are opposed to the ones that everyone expects to be. When Richards tells the wife that she became a widow, she cries, being comforted by her sister, Josephine. The situational irony lies in the fact that it is not a common reaction to the death of a spouse. Usually, people refuse the news. They don't want to accept the fact that their beloved people are not alive anymore. Sometimes, they become angry and shout at others. However, Louise Mallard decided to go upstairs to mourn the grief. This part shows readers that Louise is an unusual widow before transitioning to the climax of the story.

At the next stage, Louise locked herself in a room, trying to tackle all the emotions she had. Josephine, the sister, understood that such stress could cause a heart attack. She didn't want Louise to harm herself, so she sat behind the door and looked into the keyhole. She pleased the widow to open the door to help her cope with the stress. Indeed, the wife struggled with her loss in the room. However, other thoughts appeared in her mind simultaneously. She tried to push them away, but soon they became predominant in her mind. While sitting in the room, she realized that she was free. She didn’t depend on her husband anymore, and this understanding made her feel good. Louise became engaged by the fact that she was free to live the life she wanted. She sat in the room and repeated, "free, free, free" with any breath. She was thinking about all the years of free-of-marriage life that she would have. Thoughts about new opportunities open to a free woman appeared in her mind. Meanwhile, all other people, including the sister, thought that the widow harmed herself and needed help. In this part, readers can face the dramatic irony. In a nutshell, it is a type of irony when readers understand what happens while the characters don't realize the truth.

At the next stage, Louise Mallard managed to cope with her emotions of sadness and joy. She floated out of the room, being a new person. She met her sister and started going down. However, an unpredicted twist changes the entire story. Fortunately, the news about Brently Mallard's death was fake. He is alive and waits for his wife downstairs. Here is the time for another dramatic irony in the story. Everybody in the house expected Louise to become extremely happy because her spouse was not dead. However, when she apprehends that Brently Mallard is alive, all her dreams have been ruined by the moment. The wife fell to the floor because of a heart attack. She was ready to live a new life that would be full of adventures and new achievements. However, she couldn’t overcome the fact that old life with Brently Mallard is back.

When a doctor came, he confirmed that Louise Mallard died because of the excitement that she couldn't cope with. Unfortunately, there is no room for any error. Louise Mallard is not alive anymore, which is the last irony of the story. She was so happy because of her husband's loss that she couldn't accept the fact that he was alive and all her dreams were ruined forever. The women experienced a ton of emotions in just one hour, which forced the heart attack. The story sheds light on the problems that women of the Victorian age experienced. They strictly depended on their husbands, having no freedom. They had to sacrifice their desires, happiness, and dreams to satisfy their husbands. This argument justifies the joy Louise Mallard experienced when she realized that her spouse had died.

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