When she comes home that night with Robert, Edna takes Etienne and Raoul from Madame Ratignolle, who had been watching them, and helps Etienne get to sleep. Pontellier had been a little worried about Edna’s absence, but eventually he went to the Klein hotel to do business. Madame Ratignolle leaves for her own cottage; Edna and Robert say goodbye. Edna waits for her husband outside, pondering the changes taking place in her mind and dreaming of Robert’s voice.
Edna’s awakening is beginning to create difficulties for her family, which functions a bit awkwardly without her. But her children are independent, and her husband’s concern is tempered with good humor and indifference —her gradual withdrawal creates no real lack. Her role in the family proves ephemeral.