Nov 19, 2020 in Literature

Analysis of The Story of an Hour

Life is a parody of paradoxical Irony/ Fate rules not without a touch of Tyranny. In the short story The Story of an Hour, Kate Chopin shows that people do not appreciate what they possess because life means nothing to them and their mind is spoilt due to excessive freedom and meaningless desires. The author designed a unique plot, which has both a direct and indirect meaning, that compels the reader to plunge into the fast events of the story. In The Story of an Hour, life and death exist very close to each other, but the protagonist does not see any sense in her life, feeling happy only after such a horrible event as the death of her husband.


Life is an essential thing that costs too much at times, but people often lose its most precious moments. By representing the plot of the story that is full of irony and mockery, the author makes a parallel between life and death in order to reveal a miserable soul of the main character. Life is galloping, and the wife of Mr. Millard has an empty heart. She is too silly to realize that she exists in her own poor world. The words Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble, great care was taken to break to her as gently as possible the news of her husband's death illustrate the main character from the very beginning of the story, demonstrating that she is a poor creature who does not deserve any respect as a personality. The narrator used the word heart as irony; in this case, heart does not symbolize love at all. It may seem to the reader that Mrs. Millard has some trouble with her heart, and the author indicates it by emphasizing that it is some bluff. Moreover, Chopin almost immediately demonstrates Mrs. Millards behavior and attitude saying, The delicious breath of rain was in the air. This part shows the reader that the wife is happy despite the fact that her husband died. In such a way, irony covers every part of the plot.

The Story of an Hour impresses the reader because of its simplicity and, at the same time, a deep meaning. The short story touches upon everlasting themes, including non-existent love and human vices. It may seem that the plot is unsophisticated, but it contains many evident and real life issues that allow the reader to read the story like a rhymed verse. The author applied irony almost in every sentence, even including the title. Many words in the story may represent everything and nothing at the same time. Moreover, the author depicted the ultimate irony by showing that Mrs. Millard feels freedom because of the unexpected death of her husband: Free! Body and soul free! Mrs. Millard desires to lead a new life, which she is going to devote only to herself. Nevertheless, the protagonist becomes free and happy at last because her husband died. Unexpectedly, at the end of the story, Mr. Millard appears alive and healthy, thus disappointing his wife and leading to her death. Her heart could not bear such news: she had died of heart diseaseof joy that kills. Thus, the author depicts the ideas of the story, the appropriate implications of the plot, and the so-called tragedy in a rather unique way.

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The notion of mindfulness is a characteristic feature of the plot; it represents the awareness of lifes importance in different ways. Chopin indicates that Mrs. Millard thinks only about herself, and that she is merciless and soulless. As a result, the reader understands that she cannot love anyone except herself. Undoubtedly, people must appreciate every moment of the day as life passes very fast, and time is relentless. However, the main character does not know what she lives for; instead, she muses about her freedom and future despite her husband died. In this case, the reader realizes that Mrs. Millard has neither spiritual nor moral values. The only thing she longs for is total freedom; only it can make her happy. On the other hand, this woman even does not know what happiness and love mean because she does not value life.

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According to Margaret Lee Runbeck, Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling. Runbeck states that life can be full of happy events like a long trip that people continuously experience and try to get as much joy from as possible. In The Story of an Hour, the reader realizes that Mrs. Millard is unable to love and to be happy. Chopin tries to explain that happiness does not usually come from nothing. It demands one to encounter some difficulties to feel happy deep inside and to appreciate that God presents a person with such a unique state that makes human life meaningful. However, happiness may also include such a simple but, at the same time, the most valuable thing on the Earth as the health of the dearest person.

In conclusion, The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin demonstrates life, love, death, and human vices, such as indifference and ruthlessness to a close person, by means of irony. Life is a precious gift, and the author shows that God has His own surprises, and there is no place for happiness if some grief happens. Thus, Mrs. Millard dies because her husband is alive, and it is the greatest and saddest irony which a person can only imagine. It is obvious that life and death are too close to each other, and it is impossible to explain what happiness and freedom mean if someone dies.


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