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Essay on The Story of the Hour by Kate Chopin

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Death Becomes Her
“The Story of The Hour” by Kate Chopin is about a young lady who battles with the suffering brought on by her seemingly unhappy marriage and the freedom she secretly desires. The protagonist in the story, Mrs. Mallard, does not realize how unhappy she truly is until she learns that her husband is dead. Even though the story is written with the limit of third person point of view, it does not lack the structure of dramatic irony to keep the reader wanting more. The author’s use of oppression is shown by the irony in the story, especially when Mrs. Mallard starts to notice a sense of freedom shortly after hearing of her husband’s death. The author also uses symbolisms to express this new feeling, which makes the protagonist someone easy for the reader to connect with. One of the more praiseworthy features of Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” is the fact that the author is able to control the dramatics of a very condensed short story with suspense, shock, and surprise. If it is true that art reflects life, then the author has personal irony that will serve as proof in this case. In the story, Mrs. Mallard’s husband is presumed dead from a train accident. Ironically, in real life Chopin’s father is also killed in a train accident leaving her mother to be a widow. At the age of thirty, Chopin becomes a widow as well when her husband unexpectedly dies. Chopin uses irony to build up the emotions in the reader.
Mrs. Mallard moves from the mourning of her husband to the celebrating of her liberation, her secretly desired freedom, from him. The drama of the event is increasingly embellished by the author’s choice of certain structure and style. Chopin methodically uses short paragraphs, each with three or four sentences. The...


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Works Cited

Chopin, Kate. “The Story of an Hour.” Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. Ed. X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 12th ed. New York: Pearson, 2013. 549-51. Print.
Deneau, Daniel P. "Chopin's The Story of an Hour." The Explicator 61.4 (2003): 210+. Academic OneFile. Web. 8 Feb. 2014.
Harlow, Barbara. “From the Women's Prison: Third World Women's Narratives of Prison.” Feminist Studies, Vol. 12, No. 3 (Autumn, 1986) , pp. 501-524 Published by: Feminist Studies, Inc. Web. 8 Feb. 2014.
Jamil, S. Selina. "Emotions in The Story of an Hour." The Explicator 67.3 (2009): 215+. Academic OneFile. Web. 8 Feb. 2014.
Shen, Dan. "Non-Ironic Turning Ironic Contextually: Multiple Context-Determined Irony In “The Story Of An Hour”." Journal Of Literary Semantics 38.2 (2009): 115-130. Literary Reference Center Plus. Web. 9 Feb. 2014.



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