In the final pages, Edna returns to Grand Isle and almost immediately walks to the beach where she learned to swim. At this point, the ocean seems to represent both temptation and her own sexual awakening. The narrator says:
The foamy wavelets curled up to her white feet, and coiled like serpents about her ankles. She walked out. The water was chill, but she walked on. The water was deep, but she lifted her white body and reached out with a long, sweeping stroke. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace.
In describing the water as being "like serpents," the narrator seems to allude to the serpent who tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden in the Biblical book of Genesis. That serpent tempted Eve with knowledge, getting her to disobey God by eating an apple from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The ocean has tempted Edna with knowledge of herself and of her existence as a sexual creature before (just as the apple Adam and Eve ate made them aware...
(The entire section contains 2 answers and 604 words.)