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by Kate Chopin
The Awakening Chapter 17 Summary
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The Pontelliers are home in New Orleans. Their house is very nice. We learn that Mr. Pontellier is very fond of all his possessions. One night the couple sits down at their lovely table together for dinner. Mr. Pontellier notices that Edna is wearing a "house dress" instead of her more formal clothing. It is Tuesday, the day visitors come calling, so Mr. Pontellier wants an explanation. Edna explains that she didn’t feel like receiving callers, so she went out instead. Mr. Pontellier is horrified and insists that they can’t afford to flout convention like that because it will hurt his business concerns. Edna refuses to take his objections seriously. After complaining that the food isn’t cooked well, Mr. Pontellier, obviously upset, goes off to get dinner at his club. Edna finishes her dinner alone, then goes up to her room and stares out the window at the garden. She feels totally depressed. After a while, she flings her wedding ring onto the floor (soft carpet) and stamps on it. No luck. The ring seems indestructible (see anything symbolic about that?). Even angrier now, Edna grabs a glass vase and flings it onto the hearth where it smashes into pieces. The maid comes running upstairs, worried, and sweeps up the glass, then finds Edna’s ring under the chair and hands it to her. Edna dejectedly holds out her hand and slips the ring back on her finger.
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