Based on the introduction of an essay, what specific points do you think the writer will make about an essay on "The Story of An Hour" by Kate Chopin (1894)

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The introduction of an essay on "The Story of an Hour" should, by the definition of such a paragraph, contain a "motivator" or hook to capture the reader's interest. Subsequent to this, then, is the thesis statement which contains the main idea of the essay and the subordinate points which the writer wishes to make.

In an essay on "The Story of an Hour," therefore, the author may write a thesis about a moral truth that the author presents. For instance, it is true that many people appear to be content in relationships in which they really feel trapped. Certainly, Chopin's story is predicated on the assumption that people do not always know what goes on within the hearts of others. Her use of the scene in the bedroom supports this idea as Mrs. Mallard, consumed with grief as she collapses in the chair, then looks out the open window where "the delicious breath of rain was in the air" and her mood is transformed by the beauty of Spring, so much so that she whispers, "Free, free, Free!"

Such a thesis could read something like this:  In Chopin's "The Story of an Hour" the reader learns that appearances and reality are often vastly different in one's life as Mrs. Mallard, having learned of her husband's supposed death, expresses grief, then elation, and, finally, a horror at his return.

Another thesis could be written about how Chopin's use of irony--verbal, situational, and dramatic--contributes to the deeper meaning of the story that people often are living lives of what Thoreau named "quiet desperation." With verbal irony, Chopin begins her story writing that Mrs. Mallard had "a heart trouble," truly a remark that can be misinterpreted as Chopin does not intend for "heart" to denote the organ of the body; rather it is a metaphoric part of the person. The dramatic irony involves the differing perceptions by the reader than by a character in a narrative. For example, when Mrs. Mallard will not allow Josephine to assist her up the stairs, it is not grief that motivates Louise Mallard as Josephine assumes; it is her newly found sense of independence from the feme covert laws of her society. Finally, in situational irony there is an incongruity between the expectation of and the fulfillment of events. For instance, this occurs in the turn of events in the one hour in which Mrs. Mallard believes her husband dead and, then, at the moment in which Bently Mallard enters the front door.

Therefore, a thesis on this use of irony, then, may be expressed by stating that Chopin employs all three types of irony in her story in order to add meaning, interest, and significance to the experiences of the character of Mrs. Mallard.

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