The Awakening


Kate Chopin

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The Awakening: Chapter 2 Summary & Analysis

We learn that Mrs. Pontellier has yellow-brown hair and eyes, which are inward-looking and contemplative. She is lovely and reserved, while Robert is bright and carefree; they are similar in appearance. She and Robert talk easily about this and that—the beach, the romping children, their pasts, and their future plans. Robert intends to go Mexico in the fall after he and his mother leave Grand Isle. Mrs. Pontellier describes her father’s plantation in Mississippi and her childhood in Kentucky. Then Mrs. Pontellier leaves to get ready for dinner.
We learn that the foundations of Edna and Robert’s friendship are similar interests, senses of humor, and sensibilities. Their similar appearances suggest that their friendship is that of equals. Compared to their easy conversations, Edna’s stilted interactions with Pontellier seem like business negotiations. Edna and Robert are linked inwardly, while Edna and Pontellier are linked only outwardly, by law and convention.
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Women’s Rights, Femininity, and Motherhood Theme Icon
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Literary Devices