Chapter 7 Summary
Last Updated on April 18, 2023, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 348
Edna, who typically appears reserved, is starting to become more relaxed during her time at Grand Isle, largely due to the impact of Adele's kindness and open honesty.
On a certain morning, the women decide to visit the beach together, leaving their children behind. Adele brings her needlework along with her. The women are characterized as tall, with Adele possessing a feminine and motherly body shape, whereas Edna's figure is described as "long, clean, and symmetrical." Adele is dressed in white ruffles, while Edna wears white and brown linen.
The Pontelliers and Ratignolles occupy adjacent sections at the beach, and Edna takes out a rug and cushions for the ladies to sit comfortably in the shade by the front of the structure. The number of individuals present is limited, and they observe a few people in the distance, including a couple in love, a woman wearing black, and a handful of others.
Adele notices Edna's deep absorption in gazing at the sea and asks her what's on her mind. Edna responds by reminiscing about her childhood in Kentucky and a day when she wandered through a green meadow with no particular purpose. She mentions that she sometimes feels the same way at Grand Isle. As Edna speaks, Adele takes her hand and begins to stroke it, which is initially uncomfortable for Edna, who is not accustomed to displays of affection.
Edna then reflects on her past relationships with some young men, whom she had strong feelings for and talks about it. She talks about her infatuations with unattainable men. However, her marriage to Leonce was not a result of her passionate affection towards him, but rather a coincidence. This marriage also marked the end of her romantic world, despite her growing fondness for him. As for her children, Edna's emotions towards them were inconsistent, and she felt relieved when she did not have to take care of them.
Right after making these "confessions," Robert comes over with some kids. The ladies stand up, Edna goes to be with the children, and Robert escorts Adele back to her cottage.