The Awakening: Novel Summary: Part 27

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Chapter 27

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That evening, as he strokes her hair, Edna tells Arobin about a comment Mademoiselle Reisz made comparing Edna to a weak bird, "exhausted, fluttering back to earth." Edna claims to only "half comprehend" what Reisz meant. When Arobin responds that he has heard that Reisz is "partially demented," Edna responds that she thinks the pianist is "wonderfully sane." This question of sanity was introduced in the previous chapter as Edna wondered about Mr. Pontellier's response to her plan to move. It is, of course, a question with which the novel is greatly occupied: Is Edna sane to acquiesce to les convenances of her society, or is she sane to remain true to her own, awakening nature? When she kisses Arobin, the narrator tells us it is "the first kiss of [Edna's] life to which her nature had really responded."

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