Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 488
One day, Edna sets out for Mademoiselle Reisz’s to rest and talk about Robert. She had a talk with Adele earlier in the day, and Adele had noted that Edna seemed to act without reflection—like a little child. She worried what people would think about Alcee’s visits. Then she made Edna promise that she would come when Adele gives birth.
Edna is waiting in Mademoiselle Reisz’s apartment for the lady to come home and begins to softly play the piano. There is a knock on the door, and Edna says to come in. It is Robert; he clasps her hand. Then Edna sits by the window, and Robert sits on the piano stool. He tells Edna he has been home for two days. She is very upset and wonders if he really loves her, as Mademoiselle Reisz had said. He stammers some excuse about why he hasn’t been to see her.
Edna sees in Robert’s eyes the same feelings that had always been there, but neither one say anything. He is surprised that Edna is not away with her husband or her children.
They leave together without waiting for Mademoiselle Reisz to return, and Edna asks him to stay for dinner. He tries to get out of it but ends up staying. At the house he sees a picture of Alcee and asks a lot of questions; he clearly disapproves of Edna spending time with him. Robert reports that he has been feeling like a lost soul; Edna echoes the feeling. Then they become silent and wait for Celestine to serve dinner.
Discussion and Analysis
Adele’s pregnancy has been a theme throughout the novel, and it is no surprise that it will end up having a major impact on Edna. Here Edna promises Adele that she will go to her at any hour of the day or night, and the reader should guess by now that something important will happen there.
Edna’s and Robert’s meeting takes place in Mademoiselle Reisz’s apartment, the place where Edna found out Robert loved her and admitted that she loved him. However, the meeting is not as Edna fantasized it. Again she does not think about reality at this point, only about what she wants. She does not think at all about how Robert, an honorable Creole man, would feel about taking a married woman away from her husband.
Edna is glad that Robert did not know her in her old house because that was her fake self; she wants Robert to know her as she truly is, a woman free to love.
Robert has no sense of Edna’s awakening, which is why he thinks she is mocking him when she mimics his answer. To his mind, she is not a free woman and therefore should not be having feelings for him. He still doesn’t know that she loves him.
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