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The Awakening

The Awakening


by Kate Chopin

The Awakening Chapter 17 Summary

READ THE BOOK: Chapter 17

  • 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.

READ THE BOOK: Chapter 17

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