Written in 1894, "The Story of an Hour" portrays the plight of a married woman in society. Her plight tells of a woman's pledge to her husband and the sacrifice of her own identity. The story also tells of her plight of being known as someone's wife and being vowed to a life of love and servitude. The only way Mrs. Mallard may be liberated from this plight is to be freed from the duty of being a wife. In this case her liberation is through the death of her husband. In her marriage to Mr. Mallard, she loses herself, and with his death, she becomes free. The death of her husband frees Mrs. Mallard to be the woman she wants to be, and also frees her to the readers, allowing them into her new life, even though it may be brief - possibly not even the length of an hour. In Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour," the death of Mr. Mallard frees his wife to the audience as an independent woman indicated by the ironic details, imagery, and foreshadowing the author uses in this literary work. .
The first ironic detail is the earliest fact mentioned in this story - the fact that Mrs. Mallard had heart trouble. When a married woman is suffering from heart trouble, you do not picture that she is young. When reading the story, Mrs. Mallard still seems to be an old woman, but after the death of Mr. Mallard, it is mentioned that, "She was young, with a fair, calm face- The irony seen is that the marriage was wearing away at her youth with the latter part of the sentence, her ". face whose lines bespoke repression- The narrator also mentions that even though Mrs. Mallard is a repressed woman, her face bears "even a certain strength." Another irony in this story is that now Mrs. Mallard envisions her freedom because of knowing of her husband's death, " only yesterday she had thought with a shudder that life might be long." And now Louise is able to see "a long procession of years to come that would belong to her absolutely.