The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letter
How we cite our quotes:
I played by the front gate, pulling flowers. (2)
It seems like the speaker was hanging out by the front gate in the hopes that someone would come by, just like she's now sitting in the garden hoping her husband comes back.
And we went on living in the village of Chokan: (5)
The notion of a "village," suggests a rural, isolated upbringing for our speaker.
I never laughed, being bashful. (8)
The wife's shyness is a form of self-isolation, because she's preventing others from seeing what she enjoys (what would make her laugh) and understanding what she feels.