This story can be uncomfortable to read because, on the surface, Louise seems to be glad that her husband has died. She thinks of Brently's "kind, tender hands" and "the face that had never looked save with love upon her," and she recognizes that she has not finished weeping for him.
Once she allows herself to recognize her approaching freedom, she utters the word "free" over and over again, relishing it.
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.
Josephine informs her "in broken sentences; veiled hints that revealed in half concealing." Their assumption, not an unreasonable one, is that this unthinkable news will be devastating to Louise and will threaten her weak heart.
At first, she doesn't consciously allow herself to think about this freedom.
Kate Chopin uses literary tools such as figurative language, symbolism, and characters’ qualities to elaborate the details of her short story “The Story of an Hour.” On February 8, 1850, Kate O’Flaherty was born to become a renowned author, Kate Chopin.
She grew up among widowed women: her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, for Mallard’s grief and despair for the death of her husband. Mallard also “carried herself unwittingly like a goddess of Victory.” This simile later depicts her joy of her husband’s death and triumph from him restraining her from living life free. Mallard “had died from heart disease--of the joy that kills.” She was finally free, but when Brently Mallard, her supposedly dead husband, walked through the door she was traumatized and overwhelmed again with hopelessness and her previously mentioned heart trouble killed her.
Her fear and her uncomprehending stare are replaced by acceptance and excitement.
She looks forward to "years to come that would belong to her absolutely." In one of the most important passages of the story, Chopin describes Louise's vision of self-determination.