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How has irony been used as a figure of speech in Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour”?

In the story of An Hour, Kate Chopin used irony in three different ways they are dramatical irony, Verbal irony, and situational irony. Dramatical irony is used to make readers feel in a way that the characters are unaware of the story.

On the other hand by verbal irony, she meant exactly the opposite of not she said. Moreover, by situational irony she meant the exact opposite to happen which wasn’t expressed to take place.

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It’s the situational irony we have witnessed the exact opposite reaction to Mr.Mallard’s death. Here we are as readers though when she heard about the news she was devastated and wiped her tears once but when she went upstairs to spend some alone time, there we saw that she wasn’t sad rather happy and delightful as she sees a hopeful life ahead. Moreover, in the dramatic irony, it shows that they all believed that she was very sad and discontent whereas she was very happy as she will enjoy her freedom. Another instance of this was when she found out that Mr. Mallard was actually alive Mrs. Mallard died out of shock and unhappiness, here they thought that Mrs. Mallard actually died due to over-happiness upon hearing the news of her husband being alive. We all knew that she died because of sorrow and despondency. Last, verbal irony is seen in the title “The Story of An Hour” Here the writer tells us that Mrs. Mallard experienced sadness, freedom, happiness, joy, and sorrow within a time span of one hour. Here we can see the different emotions of Mrs. Mallard within a very short period of time.

The lines “Free! Body and soul free!” lines have been taken from the story “The Story Of An Hour “ written by Kate Chopin.

These lines were said by Mrs Mallard in the story of An Hour, here Mrs. Mallard senses relief when she heard that her husband has died. When she heard that her husband was no more alive everyone thought that she was very sad and was grieving over his death. She wiped off her tears once and locked herself in the room. We as the readers first thought that she was separated from her loved one. This is expected from everyone. However, her scene was completely different. She was not grieving over her husband’s death rather she was very contented and happy as his death cut off her marital and shows a new insight into her life. Here, she senses freedom, a new hope and happiness of living her new life without any barriers, or restrictions. She whispers free soul, body by which she means that he is no longer tied with this martial string and no longer the wife of Mr. Mallard. Now She is a free bird who has full independence and liberty over her life. She now has no attachment or strings of her marriage and is now free. She looks through the windows and realizes that she has now full liberty to do whatever she wants to do. She sees a new hope in life that she can fulfill all her desires and wants without any restrictions and barriers s, there she sees full freedom and independence which bring happiness and joy to her instead of sorrow and discontent she is delighted over her husband s death and sees no point or moony over it because this death brings freedom and happiness in her life. She sees a new hope to live life without any problems. Apart from that she decided to have fun with the new beginning of her life. Her body is free and can now do whatever she wants to do without any enforcement, or restrictions her soul is free with no strings or duties towards her husband while was in her room alone she was having multiple emotions which went through neither her mind nor soul. Mrs Mallard has no sense of regret rather she enjoys and welcomes her new life which is filled with happiness, independence joy, and serenity.

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Literary Analysis of ‘The Story of an Hour’: Critical Essay.
(2023, October 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 21, 2024, from

“Literary Analysis of ‘The Story of an Hour’: Critical Essay.” Edubirdie, 27 Oct. 2023,

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2023 Oct 27 [cited 2024 Jan 21].
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