Chapter 8 Summary and Analysis
Victor Lebrun: the younger brother of Robert
As soon as Robert and Adele begin their walk away from the beach, Adele asks Robert to leave Edna alone. She is afraid that Edna might take him seriously. In his defense, Robert tells a story about Alcee Arobin and the consul’s wife and several other sordid stories. Then he declares that Edna would never take him seriously. He makes Adele a cup of bouillon and leaves for the main house.
On his way, he passes the lovers, who are oblivious to everything around them. He looks for Edna and the children, but not seeing them, he goes to his mother’s house. She is busy at her sewing machine.
Robert and his mother engage in some conversation and then they call out to Victor, who is driving off somewhere. He refuses to answer, however, and Madame Lebrun becomes very annoyed with the willful Victor. Madame Lebrun speculates that all would be well if only her husband had not died so young.
Madame Lebrun then tells Robert that a suitor of hers would be going to Mexico and has invited Robert to join him.
Discussion and Analysis
Adele, sensing Edna’s romantic inclinations, warns Robert to stay away from her. She reminds him that Edna is not a Creole and might take him seriously. Robert is offended but understands that he would not be able to keep company with the ladies the way he does if anybody took him seriously. He then tells a story about Alcee Arobin having an affair with somebody’s wife. He is trying to differentiate himself from Alcee who obviously does not live by the same rules.
When Robert leaves Adele’s cottage, he sees the lovers, who as usual are oblivious to all but themselves. The lovers symbolize premarriage romance—everything that Edna wants and does not have with Leonce.
Finally we learn that Robert has been invited to Mexico. Although we already know that he has been talking about going for years, this invitation lets us know that he might finally be going.