The Awakening
The Awakening
by Kate Chopin
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The Awakening Chapter 36 Summary

  • Edna and Robert bump into each other at a restaurant.
  • Although Edna had told herself to act indifferent around him, two minutes later she’s trying to persuade him to share her dinner.
  • He sits down and before long she comes right out with it: "Why have you kept away from me, Robert?" she asks.
  • He says she is cruel for insisting that he expose his wounds to her, when she has no intention of healing them, nor the power to do so.
  • She changes the subject, feeling that she doesn’t want to spoil his dinner. They make small talk about the restaurant, the coffee, the food.
  • She asks him if he’s going to smoke with his coffee.
  • Robert gets out a cigar, and lays it on the table.
  • Edna asks who gave it to him.
  • Turns out he bought it himself.
  • Turns out he bought a whole box of cigars.
  • After they eat, Robert walks her home and goes inside with her.
  • Robert sits down. Edna kisses him.
  • He jumps up, takes her in his arms, and kisses her again.
  • He pulls her down beside him on the sofa and tells her that now she knows what he has been fighting against since last summer.
  • He admits his love for her and tells her that he was thinking about her all the time he was in Mexico.
  • He says he went there in the first place because he had this wild dream that she could become his wife.
  • Edna is startled by the word "wife."
  • He admits it’s crazy, but he can’t help thinking about it.
  • Here’s the kicker: instead of proclaiming her love for him, Edna effectively declares her independence. She makes it clear that she can be possessed by no one, not even Robert.
  • Robert is afraid and shocked by this statement. He doesn’t know what to say.
  • At this perfectly appropriate moment, there comes a knock on the door.
  • Adele is having her baby.
  • Robert kisses Edna passionately and begs her not to go, but she feels that she must.
  • Edna extracts a promise from Robert that he will wait for her until she comes back.

Next Page: Chapter 37
Previous Page: Chapter 35

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