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The Awakening

The Awakening

by Kate Chopin

The Awakening Chapter 9 Summary

  • Time passes. It’s been a few weeks since Adele’s conversation with Robert (it’s now August 28), and the people at Grand Isle have gathered together in Madame Lebrun’s big house for a party.
  • Two fourteen-year-old girls, the Farival twins, play the piano for everyone’s entertainment.
  • The parrot (remember, from Chapter One?) shrieks outside the door until the twins’ grandfather, old Monsieur Farival, has the bird removed.
  • Everyone dances, including Edna, who dances twice with her husband, once with Robert, and once with Adele’s husband.
  • Adele can’t dance because she is pregnant, so she plays the piano when the twins have finished.
  • She says she keeps up with her music because it makes her home brighter and more attractive.
  • After a while, Edna goes out to the porch and gazes out at the sea. Sure enough, after a while, Robert comes looking for her.
  • Nothing happens between them, but Robert asks Edna if she would like to hear Mademoiselle Reisz play the piano.
  • Edna says yes and Robert goes off to find her.
  • According to the narrator, Mademoiselle Reisz is not at all attractive.
  • But when she plays the piano…
  • Well, let’s just say that she rocks it.
  • After Mademoiselle Reisz plays Chopin, Edna feels waves of passion and finds tears in her eyes.
  • When Mademoiselle Reisz leaves, she pats Edna on the shoulder.
  • Mademoiselle Reisz considers Edna the only member of the audience worthy of her performance.
  • Notice that the narrator describes the woman who is a real artist as being physically unattractive, whereas the woman who plays as a hobby (Adele) is described as a beautiful angel.
  • At the time this book was written, it was impossible for a woman to be praised for being anything other than a "mother-woman."
  • After the performance someone (the narrator thinks it may have been Robert) suggests going for a dip under the moon.

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