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Interpreting Symbolic and Ironic References in The Story of an Hour

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Various authors use rhetorical devices to emphasize the plot or theme in their writings. Many use symbols to convey ideas or meanings. Others use irony to make the reader analyze or paint a vivid picture of the unexpected. We see symbols in our everyday lives. For example, in religion, the cross symbolizes hope and faith to the Christians. In astrology, there are numerous of symbols, called zodiacs that identify one’s destiny and are used to determine one’s horoscope. Furthermore, in ancient times, Egyptians used symbols to communicate with one other or for religious rituals; the scriptures were called hieroglyphics. On the other hand, irony can best be described when the unexpected happens. For instance, it’s strange when a police man gets arrested or when a firehouse catches on fire.
In Kate Chopin’s short story, a woman named Louise Mallard suffered of a heart disease. When her sister Josephine reveals to Louise about her husband’s tragic train accident, causing his death, her reaction was bizarre. After she is notified about her husband’s decease, she goes upstairs and locks herself in her room. She sits on her armchair, looks out her window, and fantasizes about what her life will be like without her husband, Mr. Mallard. Shortly after, Josephine comes for her, thinking Louise will get ill about the news and they both walk down the stairs. To Mrs. Mallard’s dismay, the door flings open: Mr. Mallard was alive! Mrs. Mallard was in shock but mostly disappointed, for the future she dreamed of without her husband was ruined, and dies. According to the doctor she had died of the joy that kills. There is no doubt that Kate Chopin included an abundant of symbolic and ironic references in her short story “The Story of an Hour.”
In K...

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...more, the audience never figured for Mrs. Mallard, a wife, to be content about her husband’s death. What would make someone satisfied about one’s death, especially a wife? Nevertheless, Mrs. Mallard was going to be unhappy because she may have loved her husband, but she was not in love with him.

Works Cited

123helpme Editors. “Symbolism in ‘The Story of an Hour’.” 123helpme. 123helpme, Inc., n.d Web. 17 Mar 2014.
Chopin, Kate. “The Story of an Hour.” Heritage of American Literature. Ed. James E. Miller. Vol 2. Austin: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1991.487.Print.
Craig, Alex. “’Story of an Hour’: Literary Critique.” Yahoo!Voices. Yahoo, Inc. ,22 Apr 2012. Web. 17 Mar 2014.
Lorcher, Trent. “Irony in ‘The Story of an Hour’.”Bright Hub Education.N.p., 17 Apr. Web. 17 Mar 2014
Shmoop Editors.“’Story of an Hour’-Heart Trouble.”Shmoop.Shmoop, Inc., N.d. Web. 17 Mar 2014
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