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Story of an Hour Study Guide
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Study Guide for “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin
Surprise endings are usually ironic. Irony is a contrast between what is expected and what actually happens. There are three types of irony in literature.
- Verbal irony occurs when a character states one thing and means another.
- Dramatic irony occurs when the reader knows more about a situation or character than the characters in the story do.
- Situational irony is a contrast between what the reader expects to happen and what actually happens.
1. Why are Mrs. Mallard's relatives concerned about her hearing the news of her husband?
2. What is Mrs. Mallard's reaction when she hears about her husband?
3. Why does Mrs. Mallard eventually lock herself in her room?
4. What is Josephine afraid Louise will do? Why?
5. What true feelings does Mrs. Mallard have concerning her husband's death?
6. Explain why she would feel this way.
7. What literary element is utilized predominantly in this selection?
8. Discuss how this selection is an example of naturalism.
9. What possibilities occur to us for what might have been the real roots of the "heart trouble" with which Mrs. Mallard has evidently been for some while "afflicted"? Is it possible that the doctors have misdiagnosed the problem in the first place? And if so, what factors may have prevented them from guessing the truth?
10. What would have to be different if Mrs. Mallard's bedroom were located on the main floor of the house instead of upstairs?
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