?Prompt: Read “The Story of an Hour” carefully. Examine the protagonist’s attitude about the death of her husband. How is this attitude revealed and how does it contribute to the meaning of the story? Authors reveal characters attitudes through different literary devices. In “The Story of an Hour”, the author Kate Chopin, uses irony to reveal Mrs. Mallard’s attitude toward her new husband’s death. Chopin first describes in the story how a typical woman might respond to her husband’s death. “She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance.
” Most women would have been in shock and not want to accept the fact that their husband had indeed passed away. However, Mrs. Mallard had a rather ironic reaction. She wept suddenly and wanted to be alone. This revealed she was not like most women and had a rather peculiar view about her husband’s death. As the reader continues, they discover more irony into Mrs. Mallard’s attitude. After she has retreated to a room to isolate herself from the others, she sits in a chair facing a window and whispers to herself, “Free, free, free!
” No widow would whisper that only minutes after their husbands death, if ever at all. Though she knows her husband had loved her, and she had loved him, she had felt trapped inside their marriage. Now recognizing she has regained her freedom, her sense of entrapment diminishes. The irony continues as the reader learns Mrs. Mallard’s husband had not actually died. Not only is the reader in shock, but so is Mrs. Mallard. So shocked in fact, that she dies at her husband’s arrival. “When the doctor came they said she had died of a heart disease – of joy that kills. ” Mrs.
Mallard had actually died because for one hour she actually got to live with true freedom. Most women would be overwhelmed with joy that their husband was alive, where as Mrs. Mallard has more of an ironic reaction. She had realized at the sight of her husband that her glimpse of freedom and joy was over, and she could not go back to living under her husband’s will. Her final attitude towards the death of Mr. Mallard is revealed, Mrs. Mallard was happier as a widow. Kate Chopin uses irony as a literary device to reveal her character, Mrs. Mallard’s attitude towards her husband’s death.
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Topic: Story of an hour
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