There is a tone of sadness when it is revealed that Minnie's life had become so shabby, miserable and isolated when she married. This is first shown in the description of Minnie's chair-
It came into Mrs. Hale's mind that that rocker didn't look in the least like Minnie Foster--the Minnie Foster of twenty years before. It was a dingy red, with wooden rungs up the back, and the middle rung was gone, and the chair sagged to one side.
The tone then turns to one of nervous excitement as Mrs Hale and Mrs Peters conspire to hide the evidence of Minnie's motive for the murder of her husband-
There was a moment when they held each other in a steady, burning look in which there was no evasion or flinching.
The story ends in truimph with the women literally having the last word; asserting their superiority-
"We call it--knot it, Mr. Henderson."