The author of “The Story of an Hour”, Kate Chopin uses some metaphors and similes to create an ironic theme and to give it a kind of contradicting ending by comparing many unlike things. Kate Chopin also creates a theme that not everything is how it seems and what people expect. When Louise Mallard dies the doctor and family members believe she dies out of joy, but the readers know it was the complete opposite. Chopin also uses an open window to symbolize freedom and what Louise is looking forward to.
Louise’s death comes at the very end, after she has envisioned a happy and free life for herself, without anyone else knowing. She uses an open window to symbolize her freedom and how she is now finally getting what she has always desired. In the short story Louise thinks about what she will do, and her thought is that “she would live for herself. There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence”, which means that she will finally have freedom and nobody holding her back. The author also uses the dialogue “Free! Body and soul free!” she kept whispering” to show it is something important to her and something she has mind set on.
The biggest piece of irony is the ending and how the doctor describes the death of Louise, “When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease–of the joy that kills.” He leads everyone in the story, including some of the readers to believe that she died of happiness and joy, when she saw her husband. Louise actually died because her happiness and everything she had been looking forward to was abruptly taken away from her. This is not only ironic because it tricks her entire family and friends into think the opposite, but it also ironic against Louise because just as she finally gets what she wanted, the things and freedom she acquired are gone in the same way that she gained them.
When the author mentions that Louise has heart trouble in the very first portion of the short story, it is also used as a symbol, “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 husband’s death”. Having a weak heart means that taking bad news unexpectedly will have a big effect on one. When Louise is told that her husband has died, she has no medical problems and almost no other effects, except for a little crying. This shows that the news of his death had little to no impact on her and her weak heart. It reveals that she is not happy with him and that finally getting a way out of her marriage was not a bad thing, for her.
The short story “The story of an Hour” has a very ironic theme that is composed by using figurative language, like metaphors comparing an open window to freedom. It also uses symbolism, in the way of having someone with a weak heart, have no impact on her health after unexpected news. The author does a good a job of both making it ironic and making it a little tougher for the reader to fully understand the ideas and story before finally coming to a conclusion on the theme and many other literary devices used.