Personification is a way of giving life to non-living things. In the book The Story of an Hour, the author has used personification in various instances. Below is a summary of how personification has been illustrated:

Personification in the Story of an Hour- Mrs. Mallard

Various characters in the book have depicted the style personification. Mrs Mallard, who is the protagonist in the story, has on various occasions used personification.

Mrs. Mallard feels the freedom she has been longing for falling from the sky, and she could sense it in the air through its’ scent. In this instance, we can see that freedom is being personified, assuming that it was approaching the protagonist.

This happens when she is told about her husband’s death. The husband had always controlled her life, making her marriage unhappy.

Story of an hour Personification of Emotions

You will realize that the author has used the style of personification to bring out strong emotions such as sadness. When Mrs Mallard heard of her husband’s death, she was hit “…by a physical exhaustion that haunted her body and seemed to reach her soul.” This made her body weak and confused about how she should take the news.

Another instance of personification is when we are told Mrs Mallard died from the joy that kills.  Joy has been personified to a human being that can kill, but joy is mostly used during happy occasions.

When Mrs Mallard discovers that her husband was not dead as her sister had told her earlier she gets disappointed and dies of shock rather than joy as the incompetent doctors had earlier said.

Examples of Personification in Story of an Hour- Symbolism

Personification has been used to bring symbolism in the book Story of an Hour. Chopin, on many instances has predicted the bad fate that is likely to befall Mrs Mallard.

Remember that at the beginning of the story Mrs Mallard has a heart problem; therefore she has to be told the news of her husband’s death gently.

The author says you have to carefully take the lamb to the slaughter, which means you have to be careful about how you will break the news. The lamb signifies Mrs Mallard who has to be told the news of her husband’s death soothingly because of her heart problems.

The Story of an Hour Figurative Language – Irony

Personification brings about the issue of irony in many instances. When the officers are searching for the weapons used to kill Mr Mallard, one officer tells them it is right under our noses. This means that the weapon is not far from them even if they don’t see it.

You also realize the author has used irony in bringing out personification since the officer does not know that what he said is true. The murder weapon is under their noses as the officers do not question Mary about the meat. This shows you that the meat was also a sign of the murder which we realize it was.

Literary Elements in the Story of an Hour – Chopin used Various Elements

In the book the Story of an Hour, many literary devices have been depicted. They have been used to describe various feelings and happenings in the book. Symbolism and irony have highly been featured in the story.

Symbolism has been used to show the state of marriages in the society where they are always male-dominated. The author says Mrs Mallard “should know that there would be no one to live for in the coming years that she should live for herself”. She was under her husband’s rules meaning that she would have to forego her wishes to fulfil her husband’s.

Louise is trapped in her marriage as she does not have the freedom to herself. Her husband dictated how she lived both physically and emotionally.

During her time most marriages were unhappy, especially for women as you have to do things as per the will of your husband. She thinks that marriages should be imposed with unity, and both parties should impose their wills on their partners.

The irony is another literary device that has been portrayed in the text. You will realize the author has mainly used dramatic and contextual irony throughout the story.

Context-determined Irony

The context-determined irony is argued based on where the setting of a story is narrated. It is ironic that Mrs. Mallard sees all the happy things surrounding her, yet she had just received the news of her husband’s death.

Louise looks through the window and notices how beautiful the trees were, she feels the delicious breath of the air, and at the same time, she hears someone singing melodiously from a distance (Chopin 52).

Dramatic Irony

Dramatic irony is based on the happenings of the story. In the end, Mrs Mallard realizes that her husband was not dead as she had been informed by her sister earlier. Mr Mallard walks through the door, but on seeing him, Louise dies of disappointment even though the doctors say joy killed her.

This is dramatic because the reader expected Louise to die of disappointment as she would not taste the freedom of living by herself and according to her rules (Shen 120).


In conclusion, the book Story of an Hour is interesting as it gives the readers various expressions. Chopin’s use of various styles and literary devices makes the text captivating.

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