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Chapter 30 Summary and Analysis

Edna’s dinner party and its guests are described in detail. There are nine guests, and Edna seats herself between Alcee and Mademoiselle Reisz. The table is set lavishly, with satin, lace, silver, gold, and crystal. There are fresh red and yellow roses on the table.

The conversation is lively and loud, and the food is abundant. Mrs. Highcamp, seated next to Victor Lebrun, spends the evening trying to capture his attention.

Edna is dressed in satin and is wearing a diamond tiara, a birthday present from Leonce which had arrived that morning. Edna is 29 years old. Seated at the head of the table, her bearing is regal. Yet she feels her old ennui creeping in, and seeing Robert’s picture before her eyes, feels overwhelmed with helplessness.

Monsieur Ratignolle is the first to leave; Adele was at home, anxious about her impending birth. Mademoiselle Reisz goes with him.

Mrs. Highcamp begins increasing her attention to Victor, draping him first with a garland of roses and then a white scarf. Victor, a bit drunk from the wine and the attention, agrees to sing. However, the song he chooses was the one his brother Robert had sung to Edna on the boat. Edna shouts...

(The entire section is 419 words.)