The Awakening


Kate Chopin

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The Awakening: Chapter 31 Summary & Analysis

When they are alone, Edna tells Arobin that she is ready to leave for her new home. She lets him bring her shawl, but refuses to accept flowers. She is silent when he walks her to her “pigeon-house.” The living room is cozy and welcoming; it is filled with flowers Arobin had sent while she was away. She is tired and anxious. Arobin offers to leave, but he stays for a while to touch her face and shoulders: she accepts these attentions almost despite herself. It is implied that he seduces her, but the scene is very vague.
As the party’s controlled atmosphere dissipates, so does Edna’s strength and resolve. Though she rejects Arobin’s advances at first, she becomes mesmerized by his manipulation of surfaces—his flowers in the living room, his touch on her skin. With Robert, romance connected her inner self with her physical body. Arobin touches her body without touching her self, and the self drifts out of sight even as the body succumbs.
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