Analyzing the Text
The narrator is omniscient. Throughout the story, readers learn that the narrator knows the thoughts and feelings of Richards, Louise, and Brently. The story does, however, mostly focus on Louise.
Josephine and Richards think Louise will be devastated. Her initial reaction is not intended to be ironic.
She is relieved to have the rest of her life to herself and celebrates all alone in that room. The other characters would be shocked, appalled, and confused.
It suggests that she felt trapped in the confines and expectations of marriage.
These images include treetops and clouds – a nature scene. Such calm and familiar imagery makes the reader feel sympathetic to Louise’s situation.
It characterizes her as a woman satisfied with the outcome of that day, euphoric about life’s new possibilities and freedom.
Louise expects him to be dead, but he is in fact not dead. It would not be ironic if he were actually dead because that is what the characters and readers already expect.
It is an example of dramatic irony because, while the other characters (particularly the doctors who examined her) believe her joy was caused by the sight of her still-living husband, the readers know that “joy” refers to her elation at his supposed death and her resultant freedom.