The Awakening: Novel Summary: Part 26

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Chapter 26

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Arobin writes an apologetic note to Edna, which only adds to her emotional confusion-"the animalism that stirred impatiently within her." She and Arobin continue to see each other. Her visits with Mademoiselle Reisz, however, calm her troubled spirit, for Reisz, readers are told, seems to reach Edna's spirit "and set it free." During one such visit, Edna announces that she is moving out of her home, into a smaller house around the corner. While she at first says her large, current home is too much to care for, Reisz presses Edna until she admits her real reason for moving: "It is a caprice." Edna has not told Mr. Pontellier of her plan; she assumes he will think she is "demented." Reisz says that Edna's reasons are still not clear to her; the narrator tells us that the reasons are not fully clear to Edna, either. She does know, however, that the move symbolizes a break with her husband. "[W]hatever came, she had resolved never again to belong to another than herself." Edna tells Reisz that she (Edna) will be hosting "a grand dinner" before the move.
Reisz produces a letter from Robert, in which he writes that he is returning to New Orleans. This news excites Edna, who admits to Reisz that she loves Robert-a fact of which, of course, Reisz and the readers are already well aware. The moment's significance lies in the fact that it is the first time Edna has honestly admitted her love for Robert to herself. Cheered greatly by Robert's impending return, Edna sends a box of bonbons for her children, and writes "a charming letter" to Mr. Pontellier telling him of her move.

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