Irony can be a very powerful device in literature. The Story of an Hour is one of the most ironic short stories written, and it is the underlying meaning of emotion on the piece. Irony is noted as "An expression or utterance marked by a deliberate contrast between apparent and intended meaning" which can bring "such contrasts for humorous or rhetorical effect." Though full of grief of her husband's death, Mrs. Mallard dies herself of shock after she convinces herself that it was good for him to be dead. This irony brings comedy and shock to the reader. .
The short story is full over very elaborate imagery of the day as she senses the world coming through the window. As Mrs. Mallard looks through the window she sees "patches of blue sky showing here and there through the clouds." For a few moments, she was hurt, as she did couldn't think of herself without her wonderful husband by her side in the beautiful world. She felt abandoned by her husband who had so recently died, and was full of grief. This imagery is almost like foreshadowing; helping Mrs. Mallard to see how happy she could be without her husband.
Though she does not dwell on this grief for long; she can think of times when she had not loved him. Freedom overcomes this woman "Free! Body and soul free!" she kept whispering to herself. The charm which had suddenly felt her heart was nothing that had been there much when her husband was around. Anxious for spring days, summer days, and all sorts of days that would be her own; that she did not any longer have to share with anyone overwhelmed her. Her day is burned, and not only does this happiness contribute to what is to come, it shows what a wonderful man Mr. Mallard must be. .
Though the irony is coming shortly as her husband walks though the door; undead. There is almost a comedy in the tone in the final few lines of the writing. She does not even like the sight of him- she is so overcome with disbelief and revulsion that she dies of heart disease.