Of Joy That Kills Essay

Submitted By Jermattack101
Words: 665
Pages: 3

Of Joy That Kills “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin portrays a negative view of marriage by showing readers a woman who is clearly overjoyed at the news that her husband just passed away. At first Mrs. Mallard, the protagonist, is upset and cries in front of everyone. However, she then goes into her room alone to absorb her new profound freedom she gains by his death. Chopin wrote the story during a time when society considered marriage sacred and women were inferior to men. Kate Chopin uses syntax and ironic tone to express that women are oppressed by marriage, which was controversial in 1894 as women had few rights and were expected to marry. The syntax of the story, which consists of repetition and short, compact sentences, is used to strengthen the drama of the story which will ultimately keep it short and simple for a quick impact on readers. Chopin uses repetition to highlight certain points to make them stand out to readers. An example is when she repeats the word open to describe things in the story, such as “open window”, “open square”, and “she opened...her arms out”. This repetition emphasizes the freedom of Louise new life, even though readers will not view it as this at first, but through repetition they soon start to get the message. Chopin also has Mrs. Mallard repeat the words “free” many times, which because is only one of the few spoken words she says, it indicates how much she appreciates her new freedom. The short, quick sentences emulate the fact that the time covered in the story is essentially one hour (like the title), from the time she learns of the death until he returns again. While there is only three paragraphs discussing the death of her husband, the rest looking at the opportunities of her new life. It shows readers that death is not very significant in the story. Through the syntax, the reader is better able to determine the theme from the intense drama, that independence for women is a rebellious move that did not follow the norm and ideologies of society at that time.
Chopin has an ironic tone in the story to emphasize the theme that marriages are confining to the audience. An example of irony in the text is when Mrs. Mallard receives the news of her husband, after a quick weep, immediately retreats to her bedroom. The reader expects her to be depressed and at a loss for words. Instead, she sits in her “comfortable” chair and observes the new spring life, which inspires her muttering “free, free, free. Body and soul, free!”, as in free from her…