Different types of irony implied in the text make readers understand the full picture of Mrs. Mallard’s life, her relationships with her husband and her desire to be independent from him.
According to Leech & Short, irony can be defined as a “’secret communication’ between author and reader” or “double significance which arises from the contrast in values” which are present in different points of view implied in the text (222-223). The definition is quite broad, but it catches the characteristic of all types of irony in the text; they can be divided into situational, verbal and dramatic. All three types of irony are very important for general interpretation of the text because they trace its meaning between the lines. Moreover, they add tone and emotional connotation to the story facilitating the description of character’s inner world.
Leech & Short state that irony can be encoded in a single sentence or the whole text (223). Dramatic irony in The Story of an Hour is an example of the irony which serves as a basis for the short story. According to Ivanova, dramatic irony has 3 necessary components. The first component is called installation; it is very clear in the story plot (122). The first sentence of the story informs the reader about the settings: “Knowing that Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble, great care was taken to break to her as gently as possible the news of her husbands death”. Ton his sentence introduces the main character – Mrs. Mallard – who has just become a widow, but she does not know that. As far as readers know that her husband is dead and she does not know this fact, this sentence contains as example of dramatic irony. However, it is just an installation for the dramatic irony of the whole story.
The same sentence has an example of situational irony which is represented by visibly simple phrase “a heart trouble”. There are two options for