Dramatic Irony In The Story Of An Hour

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Irony can often be found in many literary works. “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin is masterfully written full of irony. The characters of the short story, Mrs. Mallard, Josephine, Richards, Mr. Brently Mallard, and the doctors all find their way into Chopin’s ironic twists. Chopin embodies various ironies in “The Story of an Hour” through representations of verbal irony, dramatic irony, and situational irony. One of the first ways Chopin embodies various ironies in “The Story of an Hour” is the representation of verbal irony. Verbal irony is defined as “irony in which a person says or writes one thing and means another, or uses words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of the literal meaning” (“verbal irony”). This type of irony …show more content…

Defined by Dictionary.com dramatic irony is “irony that is inherent in speeches or a situation of a drama and is understood by the audience, but not grasped by the characters in the play” (“dramatic irony”). This type of irony is one that is not seen by characters, but is known to the reader. Towards the end of the story Josephine begs for Mrs. Mallard to open up the door and let her in, as she is afraid her sister is making herself ill (Chopin 201). This is dramatic irony as Josephine does not realize that her sister is not actually making herself ill, but is instead rejoicing in her husband’s death. Another instance at the conclusion of the story, Mr. Brently Mallard enters through the door, Richards quickly tries to block him from Mrs. Mallard seeing (Chopin 201). Richards assumes that Mrs. Mallard is still grieving from her husband’s death. He shields her from seeing Mr. Brently Mallard as he knows it will too much emotion. The dramatic irony is Richards does not realize that she is happy and blocking her view of her husband will make her upset, but only because Brently being alive means her freedom is …show more content…

The definition of situational irony is “irony involving a situation in which actions have an effect that is opposite from what was intended, so that the outcome is contrary to what was expected” (situational irony”). This irony plays on what the reader thinks will happen, although it is not what actually happens. One of the first instances where situational irony is found in “The Story of an Hour” is as Mrs. Mallard finds out Mr. Brently Mallard has died. She grieves and then proceeds to want to be alone, locking herself in her room. Later she emerges euphoric and blissful. (Chopin 199-201). The anticipation is that Mrs. Mallard will be completely distressed over the passing of her husband, instead she is content with his death. The most pronounced form of situational irony in “The Story of an Hour” comes at the closure of the story when Mrs. Mallard leaves her room with Josephine full of life, lightness, and ready to take on the world. Only seconds later as she descends the stairs, Mr. Brently Mallard walks through the door killing her instantly (Chopin 201). The expectation is that Mr. Brently Mallard is dead and will not walk through the door. The irony is he does. Additionally the sudden death of Mrs. Mallard just from seeing her husband, is not

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how kate chopin's "the story of an hour" embodies various ironies through representations of verbal, dramatic, and situational irony.
  • Analyzes how chopin embodies various ironies in "the story of an hour" by using verbal irony.
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