Out of that desire for stimulation comes a meaningless but sexually charged affair with AlcÃ&

Out of that desire for stimulation comes a meaningless but sexually charged affair with AlcÃ&

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Out of that desire for stimulation comes a meaningless but sexually charged affair with Alcée Arobin.  While she has no romantic feelings for him, she feels a potent physical attraction to him, an attraction  that results in a sexual awakening just as Mademoiselle Reisz's piano performances brought about  an emotional awakening. Seeking to improve her skills as an artist is another result of her increasing need for self-fulfillment.  As she begins to act in accordance with her own desires rather than with upper-class society's  expectations, her illustrations and paintings "grow in force and individuality." She could not become a  great artist, however, because she is not focused or ambitious enough to work when depressed or in  gloomy weather, a limitation indicative of her poor grasp of resolutions and endings. Throughout the novel, Edna never looks ahead to the consequences of her actions for herself or 
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Unformatted text preview: anyone else or how the situations she creates will resolve themselves. For example, when arranging to rent her own little house, she does not seem to be conscious of the fact that she is leaving her husband, thinking only that when Léonce returned there "would have to be an understanding, an explanation. Conditions would some way adjust themselves." Only at the end of the novel, at Madame Ratignolle's dramatic insistence, does she consider the effect of her actions on her sons. Overall, Edna's spirit is strong enough to begin a rebellion but too weak to maintain it, although some readers have interpreted her suicide as a triumphant escape from those personal and social forces that she perceived as enslaving her....
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