In the short story “The story of an Hour”, the author, Kate Chopin, clearly communicates the story’s theme which is having a restricted amount of freedom. In other words, the theme is confinement. In order to develop and explain the theme, Chopin uses irony throughout the entire short story. When the speaker states, “She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance.” (REFERENCE) this indicated that Louise Mallard did not refuse the news of her husband’s death. On the contrary, she shed tears of joy because she was no longer stuck in a repressed relationship. Also, she started visualizing her new life full of freedom while confining herself in her bedroom. “The Story of an Hour” uses symbols, foreshadowing and irony to explore Mrs. Allard emotional hour after her husband’s death.
The author attributes double meanings to objects that appeal in emotional hour to help the reader understand the story. Symbols are used to explain Mrs. Allard emotional time. For example, the statement : “But now there was a dull stare in her eyes, whose gaze was fixed away off younger on one of those patches of blue sky.” (REFERENCE) emphasizes the fact that her freedom is not constant. It is a way of demonstrating Mrs. Allard’s emotional and physical freedom through the hour. She has a brief moment of grief when her husband dies, followed by joyful moments of freedom which are interrupted by her sister Josephine. The patches of blue sky symbolize Mrs. Allard’s freedom of confinement and restriction. Also, when the speaker highlights, “Brently Mallard’s name leading the list of ‘killed’” (REFERENCE) and “She had died of heart disease.”(REFERENCE), he i...
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...llard is alive as he walks into his house. The doctors claim that Mrs. Mallard died “of the joy that kills.” (REFERENCE) However, this is not the case because throughout the entire story, Mrs. Mallard expressed delight about her husband’s death. The joy of seeing her husband walk through the door after he was presumed dead would not have killed her. Conversely, the despair of being reconfined to their relationship killed her. In other words, irony is showing that Mrs. Allard was not devastated about her husband’s death like it seemed, she was actually embracing her new freedom.
To conclude, the author, Kate Chopin, communicates confinement in the short story The Story of an Hour. In order to do so, she employs symbols, foreshadowing and irony. Those three literary devices are used to explore the emotions that Mrs. Mallard experiences after the death of her husband.
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