Story Of An Hour Irony Essay

Name Tutor Class Date Irony “The Story of an Hour” is a short story by Kate Chopin’s. It is a story about marriage, one filled with rather many instances of irony. It is about a lady, Mrs. Mallard, and how she reacts to the news she receives about the apparent death of her husband. She suffers a heart condition and thus when her sister and friend, Robert come over to give her the unfortunate news, they do it carefully to prevent a possible heart failure due to the shock of the news.

Mrs. Mallard’s reaction to the news, her perceived feeling regarding her husband’s death and the ones she is thought to have for him, and how the story ends present instances of irony as discussed below. Firstly, it is ironical for her sister and friends to think she is deeply in love with her husband whereas she is not. The people who tell her about her husband’s death do it gently to avoid shocking her as she has a heart condition that puts her at risk of death in case of shock. Her sister Josephine avoids telling her the truth at once.

She gives her subtle clues till Mrs. Mallard comes to a conclusion of what she was trying to say to her on her own. Mr. Richard stays over to offer moral support to her. She grieves her husband sincerely. However, after spending some time alone grieving, she comes to a realization of she was feeling much more relief than sorrow for the demise of her beloved. She thinks of how much it would heartbreak her to see him dead, but then she loves the sense of freedom. It is acknowledged of how she loved him, but that was at times. She is described to have been dead in a way. That she was just but a body at her beloved husband’s will.

To the rest, they think it is sad news to her due to the deep love she has for him, but to her, it is actually good news. Her reaction to the news is also ironical. Unlike how most women would perceive the news, she at first cries passionately in agony. Other women are perceived to disbelieve the news at first. But then, when she goes to her room alone, she feels a new sense of life sweeping over her. She is relieved. She watches the tree tops with new spring life. She hears the sparrows twittering in the trees. She smells the fresh appealing breath of rain. She senses the new found sense of relief washing over her.

She tries to fight it though. She whispers she is free. The feeling of anguish leaves her body, making her exhilarated. She feels her soul being freed. Normally, one is supposed to burn in anguish upon the loss of her husband. To Mrs. Mallard, however, her reaction is that of relief. Getting a sense of freedom that excites her. She looks forward to living the rest of her life for no one but herself (Chopin, 1894). The Mallard’s marriage seems to be ironical. Marriage is supposed to provide one with a sense of freedom, love, and acceptance. In this case, the Mullard marriage seems to be a bondage for the wife.

She feels trapped. She ironically does not show it or exhibit it prior the death of her husband. Nobody seems to be aware of her state of satisfaction. She is described to feel dead, hers was a body that was a subject to her husband. The husband loves her though. That she knows. She feels happy at the thought of the death of her husband. To her, love does not matter anymore in the face of self-assertion. She is already thinking of the days to come. Summer. Spring. Days on her own, in freedom. She prays life becomes long, yet the previous day she had been worried of life being long as she felt trapped in her life.

It is also ironical that Mrs. Mullard dies just when she starts living. As her sister stands by the door, begging her to let her in as she fears she is putting her life in danger, Mrs. Mullard is gaining her life back. She is by the window drinking in a new life. A life of freedom. A life of self-pleasure. Summers, and springs. She feels free and alive. Triumph reigns in her body once again. Her moments are short-lived, however. As she walks downstairs with her sister, feeling like a victorious goddess, her husband enters. Her moments come to an end. Her husband enters casually, having been far away from the accident scene.

He was ironically not aware of one having occurred. It is also ironical that he was thought dead and his death had actually been verified when he was still alive. Robert tries to shield his view from his wife but it is too late. She dies upon seeing him. Just as quick as the sense of her new life had washed over her did her death come (Schmoop Editorial Team). Mrs. Mallard’s case of death is ironical. She dies because of too much happiness. If at all anything should have killed her, it was supposed to be the grief of losing her husband. That piece of information had no apparent effect on her.

All along, Robert and Josephine had tried to deliver the shocking news gently as possible to prevent her shock. She took the news in good grace. It excited her. Perhaps too much. Within minutes of receiving the news, she is planning an exhilarating life for herself. While locked up in her room, her sister thinks that she was devastated by the demise of her husband and was making herself sick while she was not. What resulted in her death was the most unexpected thing. Not the shock of her husband being pronounced dead or the excitement of seeing him alive, but the killing of her joy.

Crushing of her sense of new found freedom. The realization that her joy was short lived. I also find it ironical how the previous day she was worried of how long life would be, then on the day she prays that life is long, she dies. Mrs. Mallard’s short lived life was for but a few minutes when she wanted it for years. The irony used in this story is enticing. The whole story is based on instances of irony that reflect the life and marriage in the era when the story was written. Published in 1894, back then, the struggles witnessed in some marriages are reflected in the story.

The instances of irony captured make the story appealing. They also help the reader sympathize with the characters. It is sad to see Mrs. Mallard’s joy get cut out while premature. It is sad also that she is not in love with her husband. That she feels like a subject to him using just but his body. It is interesting to learn of how the family and friend think the two have an interesting and fulfilling marriage when it is not. The irony in the story has been used effectively. It builds the tension in the story. Gives the characters different views. It enables the reader identify with occasions in the story.