Again, she remembers the seemingly never-ending meadows of which the sea reminds her, recalling her revelation to Madame Ratignolle in Chapter 7 that "sometimes I feel this summer as if I were walking through the green meadow again; idly, aimlessly, unthinking and unguided. In the midst of this return to childhood on the beach is her mature understanding of the nature of her feelings for Robert: "she even realized that the day would come when he, too, and the thought of him would melt out of her existence, leaving her alone. For her, the joy of such romantic obsessions lies in feeling them rather than consummating them.
How appropriate, then, that her last thoughts return to the subject of her first infatuation, the cavalry officer; she hears how his "spurs. Given Edna's love of sensuality, her choice of the blue Gulf waters as her final resting place, the scene of her final stand, is appropriate. Chopin emphasizes not only how the water's "touch. In the sea, Edna finds an everlasting love, one who will not "melt out of her existence" like Robert and the cavalry officer. By drowning herself, Edna is taking command of her situation as best she can, sparing Raoul and Etienne the trauma of her socially unacceptable behavior, sacrificing "the inessential" her life because she would never "sacrifice herself for her children," as indicated in Chapter The novel's ending is provocative because Chopin does not indicate outright that Edna dies.
Her story concludes not with images of death but with a soothing yet vivid description of a childhood scene. This ambiguity recalls Edna's tale in Chapter 23 about the young lovers who disappeared one night while boating.
Edna never specified their fate, whether they had escaped to start a new life together or had met with an untimely drowning. Chopin makes use of the same ambiguity; Edna's own story ends with the reader unsure as to whether she is victorious for coming to know her true self, achieving a brief but significant measure of independence and eluding those who would hold her back or defeated by the need to preserve appearances for her sons' sakes. Lucullean as in the banquets of Lucius Lucinius Lucullus circa B. Previous Chapter Next Edna Pontellier.
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Despite their differences, Madame Ratignolle enjoys Edna's company. About Rosalyn Eves Rosalyn Eves is a college professor living in southern Utah and involved in the YA community there and across the country. Product Details. Inspired by Your Browsing History. Give the Dark My Love.
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