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After hearing of her husband's death, Louise Mallard weeps openly before going to sit alone in her room.
Exhausted, Mrs. Mallard sits motionless in her armchair by the window and looks at all the beauty of the outside world, occasionally sobbing. She is young, with a calm and strong face, but she stares dully into the sky while she waits nervously for a revelation. Finally, she realizes despite her initial opposition that she is now free. Terror leaves her eyes while her pulse beats faster.
Mrs. Mallard knows that she will mourn her loving husband's death, but she also predicts many years of freedom, which she welcomes. She begins planning her future, in which she will live without the burden of other people. She loved her husband, more or less, but love is nothing to her when compared to independence, she decides, as she murmurs, "Free! Body and soul free!"
The ability to recognize ironic details is an important reading skill. As you read this story, stop and note your expectation of what will happen next. For example, what do you expect after reading the first few paragraphs?