Mallard is suffering from a heart disease. The other would be that she was hiding her inner feelings and sensations. One of the interpretations why Mrs. Mallard is presented as such a conflicting character lie in the fact that Chopin wrote her story in a historical moment where women had less choices and freedom and they were not able to divorce. Therefore it was unable to disclose any feelings about the anticipated freedom that Mrs. Mallard would gain after her husband's death.
"She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance (Chopin 2009)." Mrs. Mallard did not hear what had happened to her husband and she was not even paralyzed. The readers are led to think that Mrs. Mallard did not hear the news because it was a shocking one. Then, we are astonished how fast the "storm of grief" has passed. The primary emotional reaction of Mrs. Mallard demonstrates the deep revelation about how this event would afflict her future life.
First, the news about her husband's death is devastating. The open window - a symbol of freedom is in dissonance with the "physical exhaustion" of her body. The picturesque setting that is described helps the reader realize that Mrs. Mallard might not be so sad and unhappy of the news. The color contrasts employed - "new spring life", "blue sky" have positive and reassuring influence. ...Show more