The purpose of the text is largely to direct us to the irony of the dénouement of the story where Louise Mallard is struck down by "the joy that kills" – a joy which is interpreted by the remaining characters in the story as relief in finding her husband is alive. The reader, however, sees that she is killed by shock or grief at the realization that the belief she is "free, free, free!" after the death of her husband is revealed to be untrue.
Chopin uses other techniques through the story to direct us to this conclusion. We are told that the news of her husband’s death is met with "a storm of grief" which does, as with all storms, pass.
We are greeted with the paradox of Louise grieving alone in her room with the scenes of "new spring life" beyond her window. We see that the use of pathetic fallacy here indicates her inner feelings as she distinguishes between the feelings she should have after the death of her husband, and the emotions she actually has as she considers her position as a widow.