Mrs. Mallard has just received the news that her husband had died in a horrible railroad accident. She immediately starts bawling and runs up to her room to get away from her sister.
I'm the goddess of victory!
Filled with so many different emotions, Mrs. Mallard locks herself up in her room. She doesn't know what emotions to feel. Upset? Angry?
Mrs. Mallard looks outside her window and she gets a feeling inside her. She knew what emotion to feel. She says, "free, free, free!" Now that her husband has passed away, she feels free - no longer trapped within her marriage.
Her sister comes to get her and they make their way downstairs. Mrs. Mallard says she feels like she's the "Goddess of Victory."
When they get downstairs, the door opens and Mr. Mallard comes in. (During the time of the accident, he had been no where near the railroad, therefore he was still alive.) Mrs. Mallard suddenly gets a heart attack, due to her freedom being taken away. However the doctors say it was "the joy that kills."
Freedom and Confinement - That's the theme of the story. Mrs. Mallard's freedom was taken away due to her marriage. She never felt like she was able to do what she wanted. She was restricted in a lot of ways. Mrs. Mallard always felt like she was imprisoned.