The Awakening | Study Guide

Kate Chopin

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The Awakening | Chapter 34 | Summary

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Summary

At dinner Robert and Edna share their news, but not in terribly personal terms. Alcée Arobin stops by to give Edna a message about a social gathering, and Robert greets him and then makes his way out, leaving Alcée with Edna. Alcée is curious about how Edna knows Robert. Edna says she won't go to Mrs. Merriman's party, and she writes this message in a letter for Alcée to mail. Alcée obviously wants to stay, but Edna says she wants to be alone and he leaves. She thinks about Robert.

Analysis

Edna's two love interests—one her sexual partner and one her unrequited but true love—meet at Edna's house. This is the first meeting of the two men, although Robert mentioned Alcée Arobin previously so he knows him by reputation. The meeting is filled with dramatic irony since neither man knows about Edna's involvement with the other but the reader is fully aware.

Edna once again takes control of the relationship with Alcée, telling him frankly that she wants to be alone. Of course she wants to be alone to think about Robert. She is clearly choosing to pursue her love for Robert and quickly dismisses Alcée now that Robert is back in her life.

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