The Awakening: Novel Summary: Part 2

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Chapter 2

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Edna and Robert talk with each other about their swim and about Robert's desire to travel to Mexico in the fall to seek his fortune. He currently works as a clerk in a New Orleans mercantile house, earning a "modest" living. His mother, in contrast, is able to enjoy "the easy and comfortable existence which appeared to be her birthright," thanks to "exclusive visitors" from the French Quarter who spend their summers with the Lebruns at Grand Isle. In this brief chapter, readers also learn a little about Edna's background. She grew up on a plantation in Kentucky. She reads a letter from her sister, "who [is] away in the East." Her husband has still not returned by the time she finishes reading the letter; Robert suggests that Mr. Pontellier is occupied elsewhere in the company of fellow "New Orleans club men" at Klein's hotel. Edna leaves to go to her room; Robert plays with her children, who like him a great deal.

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