3. What is the significance of Edna’s sketching in this chapter?Edna sketches as a hobby; other women do not indulge in such creative pastimes. Their efforts are devoted to their children. Her sketching is a casual diversion from which she derives some personal satisfaction. CHAPTER VI Vocabulary abysses –immeasurably deep spaces ponderous –difficult to handle 1. What question does Robert pose to Edna after Madame Ratignolle leaves? Why does this question pose a problem for Edna? He asks her if she is going to bathe (swim). At first she declines; then she walks with him to the beach. She is confused by this contradiction. She is “beginning to realize her position in theuniverse as a human being, and to recognize her relations as an individual to the world within and about her.”2. How is the sea used symbolically in this chapter? The sea is “whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell inabysses of solitude; to lose itself in mazes of inward contemplation.” The sea is a symbol ofEdna’s awakening. “The voice of the sea speaks to the soul,” and Edna is beginning to respondto this voice inside her.
Chapter VII Vocabulary acme –the highest point candor –frankness, honesty decrees –events that seem foreordained effusive –expressing great emotion enamored –feeling love for hitherto –until now induce –persuade intoxicated –excited manifestation –an expression of propensity –an inclination relinquish –to give up 1. How are Edna Pontellier and Adéle Ratignolle contrasted in this chapter? Edna is reserved and solitary while Adéle is open, candid, and very friendly. Edna seems unsure of her life now while Adéle is perfectly happy with her children and her husband. 2. How is the road to the beach used symbolically in this chapter? The road to the beach is “a long, sandy path” bordered by “sporadic and tangled growth,” muchlike Edna’s difficult path to awakening. The path that leads to the sea, is a symbol of Edna’sawakening. 3. How are the lady in black and the two lovers used symbolically in this chapter? These three characters recur throughout the novel. The two lovers symbolize how lovers are intent upon only themselves to the exclusion of others. The lady in black could be death, or she could be a moral conscience that follows and watches the lovers. 4. How is the flashback to Edna’s childhood used to show the reader how Edna has beenrepressed and lonely all her life? She has formed no close friendships within or outside her family. Since childhood, she has been repressed by strict religious influences. 5. What do you learn about Edna as a person, given the reasons for her marriage to Léonce? She has had romantic fantasies of men and love but has always been disappointed in some way. She enters into marriage with no illusions about love and with a practical understanding of the marriage. She marries Léonce partly because her family objects. Edna does have a rebellious streak, but her marriage to Léonce Pontellier is a practical decision that will put an end to foolish, romantic dreams and fantasies. She must