Dr. Mandelet notes that Edna is no longer "the listless woman he had known" but reminds him of "some beautiful, sleek animal waking up in the sun." Note that as everyone tells stories at the dinner table, each person's story indicates some measure of the teller's personality. Léonce's tale is a superficial reminiscence of a traditional childhood, while the Colonel, as the retention of his title suggests, still strongly identifies with his role in "those dark and bitter days" of the Civil War. Desiring to instruct Edna, the doctor offers a parable of a woman's love returning her husband, a lesson that is lost on Edna. Her tale, which she makes up on the spot, is really a description of her ideal resolution to her current situation. The elements of her story are based on her one entire day spent with Robert on the Chênière , including the fictitious disclaimer that she'd heard the story from Madame Antoine. Note
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