The initial problem in the story is that Mrs. Mallard has a heart problem and her sister made sure that “great care was taken” to avoid shocking her sister into a heart attack upon learning of her husband’s death. This foreshadows that something bad will happen in the denouement or conclusion in the story. Mrs. Mallard then undergoes a series of unusual emotions that she doesn’t understand but she then grasps the concept that she is free. She may now “live for herself” meaning that she no longer has to live under her husband’s “privet will” and she may do as she pleases. After she grasps this new sense of freedom of her life, she “carried herself unwittingly like a goddess of Victory”, taking charge of her new life and ready to do things her way.
Mrs. Mallard then traveled down stairs with her sister when the door opened and it was “Brently Mallard who entered”, a man far from dead. The shock from her husband’s arrival was so severe, Mrs. Mallard had a heart attack and died. While the doctors claim that she had died from “the joy that kills”, Mrs. Mallard had also died from the loss of her so freshly gained freedom because of her husband’s return.
The plot helps set up the way the story is told. The reader is informed that Mrs. Mallard has a heart problem in the beginning of the story, giving a sense of foreshadow. This also sets up a basis