Edna and Leonce's young boys, Raoul and Etienne, are self-sufficient children. They do a fine job of entertaining themselves and do feel the need to flock to their mother for love and attention. The downfall of this for Edna is that she feels somewhat distanced from them. She loves her children, and says in the book to Madame Ratignolle that she would "give her life to her children." However, she also says that she would not "give herself to them". Were the children in the book portrayed as being more needy of their mother, Chopin might have had a harder time demonstrating Edna's need to embrace and express her individuality.