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Kate chopins the story of an hour

In Kate Chopin's short story "The Story of an Hour," there is

much irony. The first irony detected is in the way that Louise

reacts to the news of the death of her husband, Brently Mallard.

Before Louise's reaction is revealed, Chopin alludes to how the

widow feels by describing the world according to her perception of

it after the "horrible" news.

Louise is said to "not hear the story as many women have heard

the same." Rather, she accepts it and goes to her room to be

alone. Now the reader starts to see the world through Louise's

eyes, a world full of new and pure life.

In her room, Louise sinks into a comfortable chair and looks

out her window. Immediately the image of comfort seems to strike a

odd note. One reading this story should question the use of this

word " comfortable" and why Louise is not beating the furniture

instead. Next, the newly widowed women is looking out of the

window and sees spring and all the new life it brings.

The descriptions used now are as far away from death as

possible. "The delicios breath of rain...the notes of a distant

song...countless sparrows were twittering...patches of blue

sky...." All these are beautiful images of life , the reader is

quite confused by this most unusual foreshadowing until Louise's

reaction is explained.

The widow whispers "Free, free, free!" Louise realizes that

her husband had loved her, but she goes on to explain that as men

and women often inhibit eachother, even if it is done with the best

of intentions, they exert their own wills upon eachother. She

realized that although at times she had loved him, she has regained

her freedom, a state of beeing that all of G-d's creatures strive


Although this reaction is completely unexpected, the reader

quickly accepts it because of Louise's adequate explanation. She

grows excited and begins to fantasize about living her life for

herself. With this realization, she wishes that "life might be

long," and she feels like a "goddess of Victory" as she walks down

the stairs. This is an eerie forshadowing for an even more

unexpected ending.

The reader has just accepted Louise's reaction to her

husband's death, when the most unexpected happens; her husband is

actually alive and he enters the room shocking everyone, and Louise

especially, as she is shocked to death. The irony continues,

though, because the doctors say she died of joy, when the reader

knows that she actually died because she had a glimps of freedom

and could not go back to living under her husband's will again.

In the title, the "story" refers to that of Louise's life.

She lived in the true sense of the word, with the will and freedom

to live for only one hour.

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