- Knowing that Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble, great care was taken to break to her as gently as possible the news of her husband’s death.
This quote is significant because it gives a very vague, yet detailed (once you learn of the ending) foreshadowing of things to come.
She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister’s arms. When the storm of grief had spent itself she went away to her room alone. She would have no one follow her.
She seems to be saddened by the news of her husband’s death, which is understandable, and she does not want anyone to follow her, she seems to be very overwhelmed with grief, maybe she is about to kill herself? or maybe she wants to wallow in her sadness?
There was something coming to her and she was waiting for it, fearfully. What was it? 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.
The author is adding some suspense with this part, preparing the audience for something possibly ominous.
When she abandoned herself a little whispered word escaped her slightly parted lips. She said it over and over under hte breath: “free, free, free!” The vacant stare and the look of terror that had followed it went from her eyes. They stayed keen and bright. Her pulses beat fast, and the coursing blood warmed and relaxed every inch of her body.
Well that is a major plot twist, she went from understandably sad, with an oncoming ominous feel… to happy? And overwhelmingly happy at that, something is not right at all, she must have been very happy that her husband is dead, maybe he abused or mistreated her?
- Some one was opening the front door with a latchkey. 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. 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 the joy that kills.
She was so happy when she thought he was dead, upon realization that he was indeed alive, she was killed by her own disappointment. Remember the beginning quote? “Knowing that Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble, great care was taken to break to her as gently as possible the news of her husband’s death.” She was so disappointed that her heart gave out. “the joy that kills”.