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The Story of an Hour - Essay Example

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There are many literary elements in the story and I single out two of them for literary analysis, irony and symbolism. When I read through the story, I find that Kate Chopin has introduced a number of…
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The Story of an Hour

icted with a heart trouble, great care was taken to break to her as gently as possible the news of her husband’s death.”(213) I consider this as an important irony on which the entire superstructure of the story is built. Mrs. Mallard’s authentic reaction to the news of death is one of relief, though she begins to weep immediately as soon as she is told about it by her sister Josephine. This is the irony of her real state of mind and the state of mind which she wants the people around her to believe. Privately, she accepts the news of death as a matter of fact incident but immediately craves internally to live a long life. Thus the irony of the situation is, she considers Mr. Mallard as a constraint or a hurdle to her wellbeing and to live a fully contented life, according to her plan of actions. I see an element of irony in her ‘heart trouble’ that has double meaning. It is connected to her mental ailment. Her private world always craves for experiencing the joy of independence. With the breaking of the news of the death of her husband, latent joy engulfs her that she positively imagines that she has reached threshold of freedom. She feels liberated. It will be even correct to describe that she feels that she is born again. The excellence of Kate Chopin is evident in the manner in which she has succeeded in creating an ironic situation. Mrs. Mallard can’t be condemned for her private joy; rather her reaction is to be pitied, when Mr. Mallard walks back to her life again, hale and hearty. I see this ironic situation takes the full circle in the life of Mrs. Mallard. The greatest irony is, her death as a broken hearted woman, not because Mr. Mallard is alive, but her newfound dream of freedom is snatched away from her.
Symbolism is the second literary element that has been used with telling effect in the story. The the story is full of symbols. Mrs. Mallard, on receiving the news of the death of her husband, moves to another room to experience the ... Read More
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The story of an hour
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