Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 252
When Edna returns to her cottage at nine o’clock, Adele, who has been watching the children, tells Edna that Etienne, the younger of Edna’s sons, would not go to sleep. Edna sits in the rocker with him and soothes him to sleep. Leonce, after being dissuaded from fetching Edna back earlier, has gone to Klein’s.
Robert leaves and goes for a solitary walk after Edna points out that they have been together the whole day. Edna, too, stays alone, in the cottage, rather than join the others. She realizes that she has changed since last summer and that in fact she is different than she has ever been before.
She wonders why Robert has not stayed, and wishes that he had. She begins singing a song that he had sung to her on the boat.
Discussion and Analysis
Edna is very loving and attentive to her children when she returns from Cheniere Caminada because she is feeling good about herself. This is part of her central conflict. She can love them when she’s not feeling repressed by them.
Leonce, as usual, is not around. His role as husband is merely that of provider. He feels no responsibility to help around the house or spend time with his wife.
While Edna is awaiting Leonce’s return, she realizes that she is beginning to change; she just doesn’t understand the significance of the change yet. Although she is waiting for Leonce, she spends the time thinking about Robert.
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