How Does Kate Chopin Use Irony In The Story Of An Hour

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Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour,” which she wrote in 1894, is about a woman who loses all of her freedom when she marries. Mrs. Mallard suffers from a heart disease. Everyone around her treats her as if she is a fragile butterfly. Word comes that her husband died in a train accident. Her sister and friend are the ones who have to deliver the message. They are afraid to tell Mrs. Mallard that her husband died in an accident. They know that any stress could potentially kill her. When they give her the terrible news, she weeps (as any wife would do) but then goes up into her room and looks out the window. “Free” she whispers, realizing that while her husband’s death is sad, it is also positive because now she is bound to no one. Chopin conveys the theme that a woman loses her freedom in the institution of marriage with the use of irony, third person point of view, and symbolism. Chopin uses irony throughout this story. Mrs. Mallard’s sister becomes worried when Mrs. Mallard goes up into the room to grieve. This is ironic because Mrs. Mallard’s sister believes she is truly grieving and tells her, “you will make yourself ill” (pg. 279). In reality, Mrs. Mallard is celebrating her new found freedom from her unhappy marriage.
The reader can gather that she is unhappy in her marriage because
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Chopin connects the nature to freedom and Mrs. Mallard’s new life. When Mrs. Mallard married, she was stripped of her freedom, because in 1894 when Chopin wrote “The Story of an Hour,” marriage meant that the woman became the man’s property and she lost the majority of her rights. When Mrs. Mallard gets the news that her husband is dead, all she can think about is happiness. She can finally become her own person. “Free! Body and soul free!” (pg. 279) she repeats to herself. The message is almost unbelievable because she has been his captive for so

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