Chapter 3 Summary

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Last Updated April 18, 2023.

At eleven o'clock that evening, Leonce comes back from Klein's in a cheerful and chatty mood. However, when he tries to talk to Edna and discuss the bits of news and gossip he picked up while hanging out with his friends, she only responds half-heartedly. Even though she was asleep, Leonce is disheartened by her lack of interest.

Leonce neglected to bring bonbons and peanuts for the children, but he went to their room to see how they were doing. Afterward, he informed Edna that Raoul was sick with a fever, and needed to be taken care of. He then sat down and started smoking a cigar. Edna replied by saying that Raoul went to bed in good health, and she thinks he is fine. 

Leonce scolds Edna for not taking care of their children and emphasizes that it's a mother's responsibility to do so. He is occupied with his work and cannot manage both tasks. Edna gets up from bed to check on the children and ignores Leonce when he asks her about it later. Leonce smokes his cigar and eventually goes to sleep.

Edna starts weeping and goes out to sway back and forth in a wicker chair. It is after twelve o'clock at night and the surroundings are very silent, except for the noises of a hooting owl and, of course, the ocean, which "crashed like a sad lullaby in the stillness of the night." Edna's crying intensifies, and she experiences a feeling of heaviness and distress. She would have remained seated, weeping for a significant portion of the night, if it were not for the mosquitoes biting her. She feels oppressed by her husband's words and actions. 

The next morning, Leonce wakes up early and is enthusiastic about returning to the city until the following weekend. He goes to New Orleans to attend to his business affairs, but not before giving Edna half of the money he brought home from Klein's the night before. 

After a few days, a package of treats is delivered from Leonce, and Edna shares them with others. The women at Grand Isle praise Leonce as the greatest husband, and Edna has to acknowledge that she can't think of anyone better.

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Chapter 4 Summary