The Awakening: Novel Summary: Part 32

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Chapter 32

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Mr. Pontellier writes his wife a letter in which he scolds her for her decision to move into the new house. Significantly, the narrator tells us that he is not worried about the appearance (let alone the reality) of scandal; he is worried, instead, about the state of his finances. Clearly, Mr. Pontellier has not grown beyond his opinion of Edna at the novel's beginning. She is still, too him, merely an asset, a piece of personal property to be managed and controlled (despite Mandelet's advice in Chapter XXII). In order to create a believable reason that they have moved out of their home, Mr. Pontellier arranges for the old house to be remodeled in their "temporary absence" from it. Edna, meanwhile, visits her children in Iberville. She seems to truly enjoy her time with them, but, upon her return to New Orleans, "the song no longer echoed in her soul. She was again alone."

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