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He stood amazed at Josephine’s piercing cry; at Richards’ quick motion to screen him from the view of his wife. When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease—of joy that kills. Mallard, who has heart trouble, is gently given the news that her husband has been killed in a train accident.Her husband’s acquaintance Richards found out at the newspaper office, confirmed the name, and went to her sister Josephine immediately. Mallard weeps wildly and then goes to her room alone.
It was not a glance of reflection, but rather indicated a suspension of intelligent thought.
There was something coming to her and she was waiting for it, fearfully. She did not know; it was too subtle and elusive to name.
But she felt it, creeping out of the sky, reaching toward her through the sounds, the scents, the color that filled the air. She was beginning to recognize this thing that was approaching to possess her, and she was striving to beat it back with her will—as powerless as her two white slender hands would have been.
When she abandoned herself a little whispered word escaped her slightly parted lips.
She did not stop to ask if it were or were not a monstrous joy that held her. I am not making myself ill.” No; she was drinking in a very elixir of life through that open window.
A clear and exalted perception enabled her to dismiss the suggestion as trivial. Her fancy was running riot along those days ahead of her.It was Brently Mallard who entered, a little travel-stained, composedly carrying his grip-sack and umbrella.He had been far from the scene of the accident, and did not even know there had been one.She knew that she would weep again when she saw the kind, tender hands folded in death; the face that had never looked save with love upon her, fixed and gray and dead. Spring days, and summer days, and all sorts of days that would be her own.But she saw beyond that bitter moment a long procession of years to come that would belong to her absolutely. Josephine was kneeling before the closed door with her lips to the keyhold, imploring for admission. She breathed a quick prayer that life might be long.She sits in an armchair, tired, and looks outside at the spring day. While in a stupor, a thought starts coming to her that makes her afraid.As she identifies it, she tries but fails to push it back. Mallard died Theme: Women’s Freedom in Marriage This theme has to be examined in the context of when it was written.She said it over and over under her breath: “free, free, free!” The vacant stare and the look of terror that had followed it went from her eyes. Her pulses beat fast, and the coursing blood warmed and relaxed every inch of her body.Louise is genuinely saddened by her husband’s death, and she shows this openly.However, the experience of her fancy running riot over her newfound freedom happens completely in private.