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The Awakening

The Awakening


by Kate Chopin

The Awakening Chapter 16 Summary

READ THE BOOK: Chapter 16
  • Five days have passed since Robert’s departure.
  • Edna feels lonely and has spent a lot of time swimming. It is the only activity that brings her pleasure.
  • As she walks down to the beach, Mademoiselle Reisz creeps up behind her and asks if she misses Robert.
  • The narrator brings us up to speed on the past five days.
  • Everyone has been asking Edna how she’s coping in the absence of Robert. Even Mr. Pontellier expresses sympathy. Edna discusses Robert with her husband, who has seen Robert in the city.
  • This discussion seems perfectly normal to Edna because the feelings she has for Robert are nothing like the feelings she has for her husband. She doesn’t connect the two in her mind, and no one else seems to, either.
  • Edna has also been hanging around Madame Lebrun, hoping to hear some news about Robert.
  • She reads a letter he has sent to his mother and feels jealous that the letter was written to Madame Lebrun instead of to her.
  • Edna thinks that she has the right to have these secret (or not-so-secret) feelings for Robert.
  • She feels that they are an essential part of her and that she would never give them up, even for her children.
  • She tells Adele that she would give up the inessential, money, and her life for her children, but that she wouldn’t give up herself.
  • Adele doesn’t understand this distinction.
  • Back to the present. Mademoiselle Reisz has asked Edna whether she misses Robert.
  • Edna says that she misses Robert.
  • We learn that Robert is not Madame Lebrun’s favorite son. That honor goes to his younger brother Victor, who is apparently a big brat.
  • Robert once beat up Victor for acting insulting and abusive towards the Spanish girl Mariequita.
  • Mademoiselle Reisz tells Edna that she is going back to New Orleans next Monday. She gives Edna her address so that Edna can visit her in the city.
  • Edna states that she plans to leave a week later. Her summer at Grand Isle has come to an end.
READ THE BOOK: Chapter 16

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