it's enough that her life will change dramatically for the better -- why does it need to be a supernatural or sexual experience as Deneau (2003) argues? And her depression has lifted, too, by the prospect of a complete life change: "Spring days and summer days, and all sorts of days that would be her own. She breathed a quick prayer that life might be long. It was only yesterday she had thought with a shudder that life might be long" (p. 88).

The ending is ironic, of course. The reader knows she didn't die of "joy that kills." She died because she couldn't go back to being the woman she had been before her Enlightenment -- like an oak tree can't go back to being an acorn. Louise Mallard has grown in the space of an hour and can't go back to being a "true woman."


Boeree, C.G....
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