The Awakening | Study Guide

Kate Chopin

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The Awakening | Chapter 31 | Summary



Alcée, who has stayed behind as the other guests leave, asks her "What next?" She describes what she still must do before leaving the big house. He helps her close up the house, and then they go to the smaller house, which she calls the "pigeon house." Alcée becomes affectionate, kissing and caressing her. He does not leave until "she had become supple to his gentle, seductive entreaties."


Edna and Alcée have their second sexual encounter after the party, and after he has helped her move from the big house to the pigeon house. The description of his caresses emphasizes the physical nature of their relationship, which contrasts with her purely emotional relationship with Robert. That Alcée helps her leave her old house and life behind for good suggests Edna's sexual awakening is a turning point for her—for good or bad.

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