The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

545 Words3 Pages
Dilemma behind Marriage Mrs. Mallard was in search for freedom, independence, and tranquility. However she never thought she would find it in her husband’s death. Kate Chopin is able to convey the theme of the forbidden pleasure of independence in “The Story of an Hour” through her use of dramatic irony, situational irony, and symbolism. One of the ways that the author is able to relate the theme of the forbidden pleasure of independence in her short story was through her use of situational irony. Situational irony is when the author expects one thing to happen but the opposite occurs. For instance, the reader would have speculated that the news of her husband’s death would have devastated Mrs. Mallard but the exact opposite occurs. Mrs. Mallard is contented and overjoyed by the news because at last she was “Free! Body and soul free!” (Chopin 574-575) While looking out the window she was imagining “…spring days, and summer days, and all sorts of days that would be her own...” (Chopin 574-575) She was eager to live her life without the pressure of a male. The author also relates the theme of the forbidden pleasure of independence in her short story with her use of dramatic irony. Dramatic irony is when the reader knows something that the characters don’t. For instance, the reader knew in the last few chapters that Brently Mallard was alive and that Mrs. Mallard’s dreams of being free were nothing but dreams. Yet the characters didn’t know, they only knew the information given to them by Richards which was that Mr. Mallard had passed away in an accident at work. Another example Kate Chopin uses of dramatic irony is throughout the whole short story. The reader knows that Mrs. Mallards is glad about her husband’s death but her sister, Josephine, and her best friend, Richards, don’t. They think Mrs. Mallard is making herself sick when she locked herself in her
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