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Describing Louise's gaze, Chopin writes, "It was not a glance of reflection, but rather indicated a suspension of intelligent thought." If she had been thinking intelligently, social norms might have prevented her from such a heretical recognition.Instead, the world offers her "veiled hints" that she slowly pieces together without even realizing she is doing so.Triumphantly, she answers the door and goes downstairs with her arm around Josephine's waist, where Richards awaits.
She loved her husband, more or less, but love is nothing to her when compared to independence, she decides, as she murmurs, "Free! Mallard is actually imagining the happiness of the years ahead.
In fact, only the day before she had feared living a long life.
The knowledge reaches her wordlessly and symbolically, via the "open window" through which she sees the "open square" in front of her house.
The repetition of the word "open" emphasizes possibility and a lack of restrictions. The trees are "all aquiver with the new spring of life," the "delicious breath of rain" is in the air, sparrows are twittering, and Louise can hear someone singing a song in the distance. She observes these patches of blue sky without registering what they might mean.
Louise did briefly experience joy -- the joy of imagining herself in control of her own life.
And it was the removal of that intense joy that led to her death.
She is young, with a calm and strong face, but she stares dully into the sky while she waits nervously for a revelation.
Finally, she realizes despite her initial opposition that she is now free.
The latter emotion eventually takes precedence in her thoughts.
As with many successful short stories, however, the story does not end peacefully at this point but instead creates a climactic twist. Mallard, although we do not learn whether the same interplay of conflicting emotions occurs for him. Mallard as a sympathetic character with strength and insight.