Emotions and Irony in "The Story of an Hour"

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Emotions and Irony in “The Story of an Hour” Cynthia Bynum ENG 125 Introduction to Literature Instructor Lyndsey Lefebvre November 4, 2013 Emotions and Irony in “The Story of an Hour” This essay will explore the short story written by Kate Chopin, “The Story of an Hour” (1894), discussing the theme and two key literary elements that support this theme. By the end of this essay, the two elements discussed with end with how they affect the narrative theme. The emotions and irony in “The Story of an Hour” surround the theme of this short story. The tumultuous emotions of Mrs. Mallard with her weak heart and it breaking with the news of the death of her husband along with the elation of freedom are throughout the whole story. Thus, there is irony of her emotions at the realization of her freedom then the discovery of her husband being alive followed by her own death. The plot of “The Story of an Hour” starts with the setting of Mrs. Mallard learning of the death of her husband, her instant grief to the terrible news, and how she handles her emotions. She then makes her way to her room to reflect on her thoughts of what has happened going from grieving to joyful feelings. As she is looking out the window there are signs of spring in the air with fresh start of the tree buds, rain in the air, and the sounds of sparrows and people living outside (Chopin, 1894 as cited in Clugston, 2010). This new beginning of the spring season coincides with Mrs. Mallard’s feelings of freedom from the restraint of being married. With Mrs. Mallard whispering to herself “free, free, free, Free! Body and soul free!” (Chopin, 1894 as cited in Clugston, 2010) she is making it clear that the underlying theme is not just one of mourning her husband’s death but of freedom from what she feels is a more powerful will bending hers in

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