| Quote #7
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. (19)
The single event of her husband's death changes the way Mrs. Mallard views her own lifespan. It could say a lot about their marriage that it takes her husband's death to get her excited about life. At best, she's bored and unfulfilled. At worst, who knows? It's hard to think that everything could be perfect, since she sounds so depressed about it.
| Quote #8
He had been far from the scene of the accident, and did not even know there had been one. (21)
For the whole duration of the story, Mr. Mallard has basically been in an alternate time zone to the other three characters. While they mourned his passing, he just went about his day. There's never any more explanation than this of why he was supposed to have been in an accident at all (or why Richards, say, didn't wait for a third confirming source).
| Quote #9
But Richards was too late. (22)
There may be a pun here because "late" can also refer to a recently deceased person. For much of the story Mr. Mallard is "late," as in dead; when he comes in at the end, he is "too late," as in not getting there in enough time to disprove the shocking news of his supposed death. Finally, Richards is "too late" in shielding Mrs. Mallard from her husband, which results in Mrs. Mallard becoming "late," as in dead, herself.