“When the doctors came they said she had dies of heart disease- of joy that kills” (215). Suddenly freed from a life full of oppression and lacking self-expression. That is the feeling and realization that suddenly rushed over Louise Mallard at the news of her husband’s untimely passing. Life suddenly seemed wonderful and full of delicious opportunities. Her newfound life sprawled in front of her as she made plans for future and began contemplating the consequences. The life she had always dreamed of, though, was abruptly torn away from her as it came to be that her husband did not pass. Her life of an individual was wonderful, yet short. Her life as a dependant of her husband was long and tedious. This is close to the way life is. Life without individual expression is long.
“She was young, with a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression and even a certain strength” (214). Her entire life, Mrs. Mallard lived in the shadow and command of her husband, Brently Mallard. She was forced to smile and sing and do as she was told (in the movie) and seemed to be under his beck and call. Her life appeared colorless and dull, for she had no expression of her own. She lived within the confines her husband kept her and didn’t try to break free. News of his death, though sad to her at first, was like shackles suddenly being clip off of a prisoner’s hands. “She did not hear the story as many have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance. She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment?” (213). The color seemed to pour into her life as she sat and stared out the window in thought.
Her world changed as color and life and freedom flooded into her imagination. “There was something coming to her and she was waiting for it, fearfully. What was it? She did not know; it was too subtle ad 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” (214). Her imagined world of freedom broke loose inside her and immediately, she left her long, expressionless life behind with he supposedly dead husband and began to plan a life anew. The new life was only to be cut short by the arrival home of her surprising living husband.
These two worlds that Louise Mallard experiences are representative of how life can be. Without individual expression life is long and dull. Louise’s life with her husband was colorless and bland as she always lived tied to her husband by an invisible, yet powerful rope. Once this rope was severed, or so she thought, she was released into a colorful life where everything was wonderful and delightful to experience. “‘Free! Body and soul free!’ she kept whispering? she was drinking in a very elixir of life through that open window” (215). Even though this colorful was short, it was still exciting and wonderful to have experienced. Louise lived a hundred years in the few moments that she experienced her freedom.
“Her fancy was running riot along those days ahead of her. Spring days, and summer days, and all sorts of days that would be her own. She breathed a quick prayer that life might be long. It was only yesterday she had thought with a shudder that life might be long” (215).
Alas, though, poor Louise stricken dead as her husband comes home, shattering her new birth into individualism. This life was short, but sweet. What good was life without the freedom of expression and personality? It seemed worthless to Louise Mallard after she had found life full of this expression and personality. Even though he life was short, she left it happily to go on, perhaps, to a place where she’d be free forever. “When the doctors came they said she had dies of heart disease- of joy that kills”