Chapter 35 Summary and Analysis
Edna wakes up filled with hope. She believes that Robert’s love for her will surmount his reserve, whatever his reasons for it. She imagines him coming over that evening.
She receives letters from her children and from Leonce. Leonce writes that when he comes back they would take a trip abroad, as he had recently made a lot of money on Wall Street. She also receives a letter from Alcee saying good morning and assuring her of his devotion.
Edna writes back to the children and to Leonce. In Leonce’s letter she is evasive, not on purpose, but because she had lost a sense of reality. She feels she has abandoned herself to Fate. She does not answer Alcee’s letter.
Robert does not come that day, and Edna is very disappointed. Nor does he come either of the next two days. She would awake with hope and go to sleep despondent. However she does not seek him out; in fact she avoids places where he might be.
She goes out with Alcee one night, and they come back to Edna’s to eat. It is late when he leaves. Since their relationship has become sexual, it has become a habit for him to spend time with her. That night she does not feel despondent when she goes to sleep, but neither does she wake up with any hope.
Discussion and Analysis
Edna has completely lost sight of reality in the beginning of this chapter. She wakes up filled with hope and sees before her no denial; she still believes she will get everything she wants with no consequences.
She is also still being completely selfish. She doesn’t care why Robert is being reserved. She is only interested in how she can break down that reserve.
After Robert does not come for a few days, Edna is willing to settle for Alcee and spends the night with him. That is when she gives up both despondency and hope, feeling nothing.