Her attitude is compassionate. As the reader you know this because the author does not present the character in a harsh manner. She portrays her character as a woman living within the confines she has created in her own mind--living strictly within a tight financial budget and putting the needs of her family above her own. These are typical behaviors of women especially those during the time that Chopin lived. I think she is presenting a very liberating moment for Mrs. Sommers to show how easily people can become trapped into living a very self-deprived existence; but also she is showing how easily we can get out of that restricitve lifestyle, if we let ourselves think or believe differently.