How are the themes of marriage and control expressed throughout the story?
Many readers assume that Chopin's story has at its center a picture of a bad or abusive marriage. To the contrary, details in the story suggest that nothing is particularly wrong with the Mallards' marriage—in fact, Louise Mallard comments that Brently Mallard "never looked save with love upon her"—but that the issue is the institution of marriage itself. In other words, Mrs. Mallard doesn't dislike her marriage in particular but dislikes the concept of marriage in which "a kind intention or a cruel intention made the act seem no less a crime. . . . ." The control man and wife have over the other is at the heart of the story.