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The Story of an Hour

Essay Topic:

The Story of an Hour: Discuss three examples AND kinds irony used in “The Story of an Hour. ” Make sure to have one example of verbal irony, one of situational irony, and one of dramatic irony. One example of verbal irony in “A Story of an Hour” is the last sentence in the story which says “When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease—of joy that kills” (DiYanni 41) This is verbal irony because it is written that she died of too much happiness to see her husband, whom she thought was dead, alive.

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However, it was because she was incredibly distressed to see him. One instance of situational irony in “The Story of an Hour” is when Mrs. Mallard learns of the death of her husband. At first, she reacts as any person would at the news of losing someone close to them by crying and isolating herself. However her real feelings about her husband’s death are shown later when she thought to herself, “There would be no one to live for during those coming years; she would live for herself” (40) However this feeling of freedom did not last long.

Towards the end of the story her husband appears at the door unharmed. She then realized that she was not free from her unhappy marriage at all. Dramatic irony is also used in “The Story of an Hour” through Mrs. Mallard’s realization that she is free from her husband and with her death. While Mrs. Mallard was alone in her room she realized that she would no longer be bound to her husband but rather free to do whatever she should choose.

However, no one else in the story knew this; they all believed that she was very sad and depressed. Josephine, a woman in the house, even thought Mrs. Mallard was making herself sick. She said, “I beg; open the door—you will make yourself ill” (40) However, Mrs. Mallard was doing quite the opposite by “drinking in a very elixir of life through that open window” (40).