When it comes to writing, irony is a great tool for an interesting story. When the unexpected occurs in a story, it usually makes the text more interesting. Kate Chopin used irony in her short story, The Story of an Hour. Stories are often found more entertaining to read when irony is involved since surprise endings or suspense keep readers hooked. Kate Chopin used irony in The Story of an Hour through her setting when describing the organization, characterization, and atmosphere. .
The opening sentence in this story does turn into an ironic one. "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 husbands death" (Paragraph 1). At first, this appears as foreshadowing allowing readers to ponder whether or not she will die when she is broken the news. After she ran up to her room and locked herself in, suicide was a question. Would she be unable to live without her husband? At one point, it did not seem she would be able to. "When she abandoned herself a little whispered word escaped her slightly parted lips. She said it over and over under her breath: "free, free, free!"" (Paragraph 10). It seemed then that she had died as was free of her human body. She had been set free from the pain and suffering that she had just endured and was going to have to live through for the rest of her life. However, she was not dead. The ironic part of the organization of this story was the use of framing. The end described the same heart troubles that the first paragraph had. "When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease" (Paragraph 23). It was ironic that the heart troubles were a concern when telling Mrs. Mallard of her husband's death since seeing him alive was what had killed her. .
The atmosphere for The Story of an Hour was also a bit ironic. A story dealing with death is usually set on a gloomy day. This story was set on a beautiful spring day.