Irony is mightier than the sword.

Essay by Butler12University, Bachelor'sA+, November 2003

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Irony is mightier than the sword

In "The story of an hour," Kate Chopin describes a woman, Mrs. Mallard, who goes through a transformation and that takes her on a path were she feels dead, alive, then dead again. One of the most influential short story writers for the struggle for the liberation of women during the late nineteenth century, during her later years Chopin was ostracized by the literary society largely because of her frank expression of woman's feelings and sexuality. "The Story of an Hour" is a perfect display of her setting woman free from the chains that are imposed upon them by society. This story still has much of the same impact on modern society as it once did, however, placing it in the context of a setting in which women were repressed, dating back almost a century, helps the reader grasp even more the profoundness of this enlightening story.

This very compact yet potent story plays on the way women are treated in society, and how society should not stereotype them in any way.

The story uses two characteristics that Mrs. Mallard possesses and draws a parallel between them in order to show their similarity. In order to display how similar they are in terms of the expectations of people, Chopin uses the heart condition that 'afflicted her with great trouble'(333), and the simple fact that she is a wife. Obviously both of these characteristics demand certain treatment or a certain set of manners that others must


conform to as a society. The 'intelligent news'(333) of a railroad disaster that was received spoke of the tragedy, or should I say just death, of her husband was to be broken to Mrs. Mallard as 'gently as possible'(333). Her sister who breaks the news to...