Why does Mrs. Mallard feels victorious? What does her sense of victory tell about her marriage in the story time period?
Mrs. Mallard's feeling of victory comes from her moment of apparent self definition. When she learns of her husband's death, Louise feels bad, as per obligatory custom of any wife. She follows social conventions in mourning her husband. Yet, there is a sense of victory that emerges when she begins to understand that the absence of her husband might allow her to engage in a process of self definition and greater autonomy. The social convention of marriage where a man would assume the freedom for both man and wife, a custom where a man would order for the woman when both are dining out, is replaced with Louise being able to speak for herself and articulate her own condition. This feeling of self- definition helps to give her a victory, a sense of presence in the absence of the other.
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