Why is Adèle worried about Edna and Robert's relationship in The Awakening?

Quick answer:

Adèle worries about Edna and Robert's relationship because they are both taking their flirtation too seriously and might go beyond what is acceptable. Later in the novel, Adèle worries because Edna has abandoned her children.

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In The Awakening, Adèle worries that Edna will take Robert too seriously. This occurs in the first part of the novel when Edna, Robert, and Adèle are all on Grand Isle. Robert is a flirt. He loves to pay attention to women, but Adèle hopes that he would never really try to seriously court a married woman like Edna. This would endanger his reputation as a gentleman, and Adèle tells him so. Edna is not a Creole, so she does not understand the dynamic like Adèle does. Flirtation is fine. Banter is fine. Anything more is not acceptable.

Robert, however, is beginning to feel somewhat serious about Edna, and he starts to rationalize his feelings as he converses with Adèle. He quickly remembers to whom he is talking, however, and distracts Adèle with another topic. Apparently, Adèle has a reason to worry.

Adèle also worries that Edna will become too sincere with Robert. Adèle is perfectly comfortable flirting and playing, but she knows how to leave it at that. Edna, Adèle senses, does not, and Adèle worries that Edna will be hurt by Robert one way or another, whether he is being serious or not.

Later in the novel, after Edna has left her family, struck out on her own, and reunited with Robert, Adèle worries that Edna is being extremely selfish. She tells her friend to think about her children. Edna has abandoned them for her own desires, and Adèle cannot fathom this. She tries to get Edna to wake up and see that she has responsibilities as a mother.

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