Irony in Story of an Hour
In “Story of an Hour” it is evident that irony was quite a large part of the short story. There is situational irony, which is when the situation turns out differently than expected. Also, dramatic irony is present, which is when you as a reader knows more than the character. The author seemed to base her whole story around irony to surprise her readers.
There are a couple of examples of situational irony that is apparent throughout the story. Mr. Mallard being dead is one. The messenger comes and says that there was a train crash and Mr. Mallard was in it. Mr. Mallard is indeed not dead but we think he is but at the end he comes walking in the door. Another example is that Louise dies and Mr. Mallard lives. Louise finally feels free and she is now happy to live a long life only just a few days ago she was worried life was going to be too long. An example of both situational and dramatic irony is when Louise’s sister, Josephine is worried that she is up in her room making herself sick and wearing down on her weak heart. In truth Louise is in her room being thoughtful of how her life will be more wonderful with her husband gone.
It is also clear that dramatic irony is a part of the story. Louise dies from the shock of seeing her husband who is supposed to be dead. The doctors say she died from "the joy that kills." We know Louise was the furthest thing from joy when she saw Mr. Mallard. When Louise got the new of her husbands death she started crying at once in her sisters arms. But what her sister, Josephine did not know is that Louise was crying out of happiness that she was finally free of her mundane, mediocre life chained down by her husband.
The whole story seemed to be based on irony, situational and dramatic. Using situational irony we finally knew Mr. Mallard wasn’t really dead. Another is that Louise dies when she found out Mr. Mallard was alive. Dramatic irony that was used let us know that...