Both Mrs. Mallard and Eveline are women trapped by their lives, the former to her marriage with a man whose company she was already tired of, while the latter to her abusive family. Midway through the two stories, both are given the same opportunity to be free from their respective oppressions. Mrs. Mallard is relayed the news that her husband died while Eveline is proposed marriage and release from her family’s control. The reactions of the two protagonists imply that if their characters switched plots, the ending of both stories might have been different that they are. If Mrs. Mallard were the young lady given the chance to leave her abusive family in exchange with marriage to a man she loves, she would have grabbed it and embarked on the ship to Buenos Ayres. Mrs. Mallard may be staying in her marriage because it is expected of her by society but the news of her husband’s death excites her.
She could not keep the feeling of grief of having lost a husband for a longer time than most women who truly love being married. Obviously she is one woman who would escape from her current situation if only given the chance. Meanwhile, Eveline is a woman who is afraid of change. Her choice to stay trapped in an abusive familial relationship might look masochistic to some readers, but her choice stems from her personality type. She grew up in the same environment and life that the prospect of another, albeit better one, has become unthinkable. If she were in Mrs. Mallard’s place, she would be devastated by her husband’s death and it would take a very long time for her to adjust to the new life. Meanwhile, if she were to receive the news that her husband, after all, is alive, she would have greeted the news with relief.