Louise's characteristics add to the theme of this story in several ways. One of her characteristics is her youth. This characteristic is important because it is symbolic of a fresh, new start at her life of freedom due to the death of her husband. She has her whole life to live by herself. She will be free to do what she wants to do, when she wants to do it.
Another characteristic of Louise, which also adds to the irony of this story, is her passion for living. She mentions that she will weep again when she is present at her husband's funeral, but she is able to look past that grim moment and look forward to "the years to come that would belong to her absolutely." Just when she is beginning to savor the sweet sense of freedom, her husband shows up at their house alive. When she sees him, she dies, not from the "joy that kills," but because she is heart-broken and shocked at the reality. She dies because she realizes that since he's not dead, she will not be free. The drastic halt is too much for her to handle.
There are several symbols in the story, which are symbolic of Louise's life of freedom. The spring day symbolizes a new beginning of her life in which she is free. Spring is the time when living things propagate and are reborn. Likewise, Louise believes she will become productive, energized and reborn. Louise has her whole life of freedom to look forward to.
A second symbol is the open window in her bedroom. The window suggests that there is no...