Use of Situational Irony in Kate Chopin’s ‘The Story of an Hour’

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He talks a lot about his lack of actual freedom in the opening monologue of ‘The Story of an Hour’. The thought of the husband now not believing his wife comes to the fore in this story in phrases of situational irony. From Webster’s New World College Dictionary, we get this definition: “Freedom is stated to be the absence of need, or of restraint, in the presence of either free will or compulsion”. Mrs. Mallard felt liberated after she had heard that her husband had died. Throughout the book, Kate Chopin’s story, ‘The Story of an Hour’, helps exhibit how genuine freedom can only be performed when one surrenders one’s fetters.

Mrs. Mallard was residing a relaxed and getting alongside nicely with her husband, but she had heart disease. She was once informed that her husband was killed at work, and so she locked herself in her room to be alone. Sister and brother-in-law stepped in to lend their support, but she advised them she desired to be alone, so they left her to cry on her brother’s shoulder. Looking out the window, she realized she had damaged free of all of the commitments that had before sure her. Over and over again “Outrageously entertaining! Come, go, it’s all free!” (being restrained to a single room with no one to talk to distract her) discovered Mrs. Mallard experiencing both intellectual and emotional independence. Coming out of the bed, her husband seemed in the doorway, and she fell down in a faint.

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A hypothetical case of situational irony is shown by the truth that Mrs. Mallard was happy when she idea her husband was once dead due to the fact she had been liberated from confinements. When her husband returned, she was free, even although she was no longer confined. It is also ironic that many people have heard that the phrase “the reality will set you free”. Then her husband came home, and she heard that he used to be nevertheless alive, so it should be stated that she was freed or she was worse off. Those who believed she loved her husband’s freedom when he back domestic would suppose she acquired what was coming to her in the form of his death. When the physicians came in, they instructed her she had died of a coronary heart attack and when they did, she obtained the coup de grace of death. This is ironic because, as she was blissful to see him safely returned to her and didn’t die as she had assumed she had completed looking for him.

Thus, the situational irony observed in ‘The Story of an Hour’ by Kate Chopin demonstrates the theme that actual freedom is determined only by way of surrender. She feared that her husband used to be useless at first, but when she eventually realized that being single would make her truly happy, she observed that he used to be home. So, she no longer regarded herself to be liberated, and this saddened her. As a result, she died of a heart attack. While it would sadden her greatly, this proved to be beneficial for Mrs. Mallard and set her free, for which she would have been thankful.

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Use of Situational Irony in Kate Chopin’s ‘The Story of an Hour’. (2022, December 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 30, 2024, from
“Use of Situational Irony in Kate Chopin’s ‘The Story of an Hour’.” Edubirdie, 15 Dec. 2022,
Use of Situational Irony in Kate Chopin’s ‘The Story of an Hour’. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 30 May 2024].
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