Chapter 34 Summary and Analysis
The dining room is small and intimate, but dinner makes them both more formal. They talk about what they have been doing since they last met. After dinner Robert goes out to get cigarette paper. Edna notices that his tobacco pouch is new, and Robert admits that a girl gave it to him. Edna asks him lots of jealous questions, but he says the woman wasn’t important.
Robert says Edna can throw him out any time, but Edna reminds him of all the time they spent together in Grand Isle. Robert responds that he remembers everything from Grand Isle.
Then Alcee drops in, and Robert takes that as a cue to leave. Edna tells Alcee to leave. Alcee does not want to leave but compiles with Edna’ request. After Alcee leaves, Edna falls into a stupor thinking about the hours she has just spent with Robert. She feels that they had actually been closer when he was still in Mexico.
Discussion and Analysis
Edna is desperately trying to win Robert over, and Robert is just as desperately trying to remain aloof, although he makes his feelings clear when he says, without looking at her, “I have forgotten nothing about Grand Isle.” Still he leaves at the first opportunity, which is when Alcee arrives.
Edna wants to be alone to think about Robert so she sends Alcee away. Alcee has always been a womanizer so it is ironic when he says to Edna of his stated devotion, “I have said it before, but I don’t think I ever came so near meaning it.” Alcee feels no more for Edna than she does for him. It is physical, nothing more.
Edna falls into a stupor when they leave. Her stupors are contrasted throughout the novel with her feelings of intoxication. She feels intoxicated when she feels powerful, and she goes into a stupor when she feels hopeless or powerless. She feels powerless with Robert now because their reunion had not been all she had hoped for, and all she can do now is wait.