Chapters 5 and 6 Summary

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Last Updated April 18, 2023.

Chapter 5 describes Adele sewing while Edna and Robert share occasional words and glances that imply a close relationship. Each summer, Robert focuses his attention on one woman, and this summer it happens to be Edna, whereas last summer it was Adele. In the past, Robert had joked with Edna about his love for Adele, but they both understood that it wasn't serious. Edna is pleased that Robert doesn't express his affection for her in the same way.

Edna carries her sketchbook along and starts to make a drawing of Adele. Robert compliments her art, but Edna is dissatisfied and crumples the paper because it does not capture Adele's likeness. While Edna is sketching, Robert leans his head on her arm. Even though she moves him away, he repeats the action.

The kids arrive with their caretaker, and Edna desires to converse with them, but they're solely focused on the candy. As the sun goes down, Adele prepares to depart, collecting her sewing supplies. She expresses feeling dizzy, and Edna and Robert hurry to assist her. Later, Edna contemplates whether Adele was pretending.

Edna observes as Adele departs and sees her kids rush towards her, embracing her. Although her doctor forbade her from lifting anything, Edna disregards this warning and picks up the youngest child. Following Adele's departure, Robert inquires if Edna plans to go for a swim. Initially declining, Robert persists and they depart together for the shoreline.

In Chapter 6, which is brief and interrupts the main story, Edna reflects on her decision to initially decline, but then agree to go to the beach with Robert. She is starting to become aware of something deep within herself, but it is causing her confusion and distress.

The narrator conveys that Edna is starting to comprehend her position in society, and suggests that many women fail to grasp this understanding. This initial stage of realization is portrayed as disorderly and hazardous. The ocean is ultimately depicted as tempting and alluring, with a tone that reaches deep within the spirit.

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