Chapter 18 Summary

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Last Updated April 18, 2023.

The day after, Leonce requests Edna to accompany him to the town for shopping, but she declines as she isn't interested. Leonce observes that Edna appears unwell, as she looks pale and is uncommunicative. As Leonce departs, Edna observes her children playing but experiences no emotional attachment towards them or anything else. She suddenly feels disconnected from the external world, which includes her children, and perceives it as hostile and unfamiliar.

Despite being critical of most of her sketches, Edna collects a few of them and departs from her house to visit Adele while contemplating about Robert and experiencing an inexplicable yearning.

The Ratignolles reside in generously-sized accommodations above Monsieur Ratignolle's pharmacy, which is located in close proximity to the Pontelliers. Every fortnight, they host a popular musical gathering. Edna regards their way of life as distinctly French and somewhat foreign.

Edna admires Adele's beauty and aspires to paint her someday. Edna shares her sketches with Adele, although she recognizes that her critiques hold little significance, she hopes to get some positive feedback. Adele appreciates Edna's work and speaks highly of it, even showcasing it to her husband during his lunch break. Monsieur Ratignolle has a harmonious relationship with Adele,  and she gives him her undivided attention when he speaks, demonstrating her respect and admiration for him.

Edna experiences a slight feeling of sadness upon parting ways with the group, as she doesn't see any value in their peaceful and predictable way of living. She also feels sorry for Adele, who will never have the opportunity to experience the highs and lows of life's excitement.

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