© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Awakening

The Awakening


by Kate Chopin

The Awakening Chapter 10 Summary

READ THE BOOK: Chapter 10
  • Everyone goes down to the water.
  • Although Edna has received repeated swimming lessons this summer, she hasn’t mastered swimming yet.
  • Tonight’s her night though! She overcomes her fear of the water and swims as far away from shore as possible.
  • She’s exultant at the idea of going where no woman has gone before.
  • After swimming for a time, she looks back to shore and is momentarily afraid of drowning. She makes it back to dry land, however.
  • Once back, Edna dresses and heads back toward her cottage.
  • Robert follows her (no surprise there), and they talk.
  • Edna, overwhelmed by recent events, speculates that ghosts are wandering around.
  • Robert confirms this hypothesis, telling Edna that on this day, a spirit rises up from the Gulf and seeks a human being to keep him company.
  • Robert tells Edna that tonight, the spirit has apparently chosen Edna.
  • She thinks he’s teasing her.
  • What he’s really trying to do is convey to Edna that he understands what she’s talking about.
  • He offers her his arm and they walk back together.
  • Edna insists on lying down in the hammock outside her cottage instead of going inside (even though it is late).
  • Robert sits next to her and smokes a cigarette.
  • The two of them sit there awkwardly.
  • Eventually, Robert leaves.
  • With Edna’s swimming success have come new feelings for Robert.
READ THE BOOK: Chapter 10

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...