Kate Chopin uses irony and symbolisim in “THe Story of an Hour” to show the nature of oppression of women in the late eighteen hundreds.
Mrs. Mallard there is iriny just in her name, a mallard is and should be a wild free duck an untamed animal.But this mallard,Mrs. Mallard is the very oposite she is a controlled domesticated tamed animal.Her life is controlled by socitey and she is domesticated by her husband. She is powerless in her marriage& life.
“Knowing That 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.” The opening sentance of “The Story of an Hour” shows a great irony in the Story. The idea that Mrs. Mallard’s heart trouble is assumed to be physical, when in actuality her heart trouble is emotional. The cause of her emotional heart trouble is her marrige and the restraints that are put on her by it.
Symbolisim is found in Mrs. mallard’s room where she goes to be alone after hearing the news of her husbands death. The very first thing she does is sink into “a comfortable, roomy armchair” expressing that she i not uncomfortable with the death of her husband. Sinking into the chair suggests that the idea has sunken in and now she has more room in her life. the room to do the things that she wants instead of what her husband wants.She now has the space to grow.
The open window shoes her freedom, her space, all the places she is free to go now that she is uncontrolled by her husband. All of the things tha tshe can now become because she has the room to do so without her husband. Also out of that window of freedom is springtime. A time for new beginning, a time of growth, a time to start over. She sees all these things apply to her now that he is dead.
Kate brings back irony to the story when Mrs. Mallard dies. Shedies at the sight of her husband alive. The doctors say that she died of a joy that kills, caused by her ihysical heart aliment. When she really dies because her joy for a new life was killed, due to her emotional heart aliment. Yet even more ironic is that the doctors who are always supossed to be right are wrong in the diagnosis of her death. Through the symbolism and irony that Chopin uses it is evident that the story is more then that of an hour, it is a story of a life.