Chapter 38 Summary

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Last Updated April 21, 2023.

After Edna exits  Adele's house, she remains in a state of confusion. Despite Dr. Mandelet's offer to give her a ride, she expresses her desire to walk home. Dr. Mandelet chooses to accompany her. During their walk, he advises her that it wasn't a good decision to be in Adele's company. He feels she is too impressionable and emotional to be present at such a potentially traumatic event.

Edna agrees with Adele's suggestion that she needs to consider her children's well-being, and believes it's better to do it sooner rather than later. When Dr. Mandelet asks her, she refuses to accompany Leonce on his upcoming trip and says that she wants to be by herself. She insists that nobody can compel her to do anything, except perhaps her children.

Dr. Mandelet appears to be sympathetic, and understand her perspective. He suggests that young people tend to have unrealistic beliefs, which can lead women into becoming mothers regardless of the potential outcomes.

Edna appreciates Dr. Mandelet's perspective and expresses that her life had been like a reverie, but she has now become conscious and woken up to reality. She implies that she is not fond of what she has discovered, but believes that it is likely preferable to awaken and confront reality rather than to persist in an illusionary state for the remainder of her life.

Dr. Mandelet extends his support to Edna if she wants to share her feelings with him, but she refuses. She expresses that her only desire is to have things her own way, even though she acknowledges that this may cause harm to others. Additionally, she emphasizes that she does not wish to cause any harm to her children.

After coming back home, Edna spends some time sitting outside and reminiscing about her encounter with Robert, which was interrupted earlier. She understands that she'll have to consider the children's well-being tomorrow, but for now, she desires to spend time with Robert.

When Edna arrives, she discovers that Robert is not present. He left behind a note which reads "I love you. Good-by—because I love you,". Edna feels weak and collapses onto the couch. Throughout the entire night, she remains in that position, without sleeping.

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