© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
by Kate Chopin
Adele Ratignolle Timeline and Summary
Adele does not appear in the novel until Chapter Four. She and Edna hang out at Edna’s cottage while Adele works on sewing a pair of winter night drawers for one of her children. Adele chooses a bonbon as she banters with Robert. Another day, Adele and Edna go to the beach together. Adele is wearing a pure white ruffly dress that flutters in the wind, as well as a gauze veil wrapped around head to keep the sun off. Adele and Edna sit on the beach together and look around at everything. Adele listens to Edna talk about girlhood and marriage. She is sympathetic and strokes Edna’s hand. After Robert shows up at the beach, Adele asks him to walk her back. Adele tells Robert to leave Edna alone. Robert asks if she jealous. Adele denies this. Adele points out that Edna is not Creole and will probably take Robert’s attentions seriously. Adele explains that if anyone thought Robert’s flirtations were serious, he wouldn’t be allowed to spend time with married women. The subject is dropped and Robert leaves Adele at her cottage. She accepts a cup of bouillon from him before he goes. A few weeks later, Adele attends the dinner party at Madame Lebrun’s big house. Adele can’t dance because she is pregnant, so she plays the piano to entertain the others. She joins the others when they go to the beach after the party. Some time later, Adele watches over Edna’s children while Edna goes to Cheniere with Robert. When Edna returns, Adele tells Edna that her son, Etienne, had been naughty and unwilling to go to bed. After Robert’s announcement that he is leaving for Mexico, Adele goes to Edna’s room and suggests that she come back to the dinner party, so as not to appear unfriendly. Adele goes back to the party by herself. Edna tells Adele that she would never give up her sense of self, but Adele doesn’t quite understand. When Edna brings her sketches to Adele’s house, Adele tells her that her work is wonderful. Adele invites Edna to eat dinner with her and her husband. Later, Adele visits Edna. Adele is very pregnant by this time, near her due date. Adele talks with Edna about Edna’s dinner, asks about Edna’s new little house, and extracts a promise from Edna to be by her side when she delivers. Adele warns Edna that people are talking about Arobin’s constant presence at Edna’s house. She comments on Arobin’s awful reputation and his ability to ruin a woman’s reputation as well. Shortly after, Adele leaves. When her contractions start, Adele sends for Edna. When Edna gets to Adele’s house, Adele is in labor and suffering greatly. Doctor Mandelet arrives and he and Edna attend to Adele. Edna stays with Adele, and when it’s over, says good-by and kisses Adele on the forehead. As Edna leaves, Adele tells her to think of the children.