In the short story "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin, a woman named Louise Mallard learns of the death of her husband in a train wreck. After her sister Josephine tells her the news, Louise briefly weeps in her sister's arms and then goes alone to her room. When she sits in an armchair in front of an open window, she has a realization that she is suddenly free from the oppression of her husband's authority. Her husband had never deliberately mistreated her, but now that he is dead (or she believes that he is), she contemplates that
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.
The dream that she then has is a result of this freedom that she imagines for herself. She daydreams that she will be able to "live for herself." She will enjoy many spring and summer days and live a long life, able to do what she wants and make all of her own decisions without an overbearing husband planning her days for her.
The dream is partially brought on by the beauty that she sees outside the open window. The gorgeous spring day is a metaphor of her awakening to a new, unfettered life. Chopin uses lovely poetic imagery to describe trees "aquiver with the new spring life," a "delicious breath of rain" in the air, the song of a distant singer, and sparrows twittering in the eaves. All of these sensory details are symbolic of the wonders of the life she has envisioned for herself.
However, Louise's wonderful dream is deferred, or rather cut off, by reality. Her sister Josephine knocks on the door and pleads with her to open it. Even as she begins to accompany Josephine down the stairs, Louise still clings to her dream. She has "a feverish triumph in her eyes," and she carries herself "like a goddess of Victory." Her husband suddenly comes through the door, though, alive and well, and Louise dies of a heart attack, probably from the shock of seeing him.