Kate states that “Knowing that Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble, great care was taken to…” (Chopin par 1). The phrase afflicted with a heart trouble suggests that Mrs. Ballard had heart problems. From the story, Josephine (Mrs. Mallard sister) had to break the news in a manner that could not affect her sister. Mr. Mallard is said to have died in a railroad disaster. Kate writes “…newspaper office when the intelligence of the railroad disaster was received, with Brently Mallard’s name leading the list of “killed.” (Chopin 1). This message is conveyed to Mrs. Mallard by Richards (friend of Mrs. Mallard husband) through her sister Josephine. Richards takes time and confirms that Mr. Ballard is dead through a second telegram. Mrs. Ballard weeps for her husband in front of Josephine and Richards and immediately she goes into her room.
The setting and the events that happen in the room can be described as living in the world of fantasies. Mrs. Ballard is cushioned into emotions that almost take her way before she is interrupted by her sister. She sees a thing coming to possess her and tries to fight it back but all in vain. It overwhelms her and she declares she is free. Free can have many meanings but at this instance, it is like Mrs. Ballard knew death was approaching her by the hour. To support this assertion, Kate states “She knew that she would weep again when she saw the kind, tender hands folded in death; the face that had never looked save with love upon her, fixed and gray and dead. … of years to come that would belong to her absolutely” (Chopin 1). From this statement, Mrs. Ballard knew the hour of her death was approaching and she had foreseen what would happen and welcomes it with open arms. She even makes a prayer that life would be longer. Such a scenario explains clearly the fate of Mrs. Ballard. Her room and the setting of the furniture and the window give some clue as