What element leads us to sympathize with Louise Mallard?

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Certainly, the revelation that Louise Mallard is "afflicted with a heart trouble" and needs to have things broken to her "gently" inspires our sympathy, as does the news that her husband has died. Once we begin to understand, however, that Louise was feeling relieved by the news of her husband's death, our sympathies might begin to diminish. Soon, the narrator begins to reveal more of her thoughts:

There would be no one to live for her during those coming years; she would live for herself. There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature. A kind intention or a cruel intention made the act seem no less a crime as she looked upon it in that brief moment of illumination.

From this, we can infer that Louise has not felt free in her marriage. She has felt confined, as though she had to live for her husband, according to his desires and whims, instead of for herself and her...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 678 words.)

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