Mrs. Mallard is a classic late nineteenth-century protagonist. Stuck in a domestic space, trapped in an unfulfilling marriage, full of longing for freedom, and even diagnosed with a weak heart… Mrs. Mallard has many of the characteristics of other traditional heroines of her time. In a way, that seems to be the point. It's what Mrs. Mallard does with the event of her husband's death, what makes her unlike other women in her position, that makes her interesting. Somehow, when she hears about her husband's death, it's almost like she's being reborn as a new person, under her own control – as though she gets a new lease on life. Because she's the protagonist, we root for her to have that life and enjoy it. It's too bad she doesn't get to.