The Awakening Chapters 34-36
Dinner continues as the two discuss Robert's trip to Mexico. Edna wants to hear about everything and comments on the tobacco pouch he carries. Robert maintains that it was made by a Vera Cruz girl he knew. They discuss her beauty and beauty of women in general in small-talk mode, not their typical banter. Edna reminds him of the time they spent together on Grand Isle, growing accustomed to one another's company. In the middle of dinner, Alcee Arobin drops in with a message from Mrs. Merriman. He is surprised to see Robert there and charmingly shows his jealousy. After Robert leaves, Alcee declares his love for Edna. Edna feels jealousy for the first time as she pictures Robert with a Mexican girl and feels more distant from him that she did while he was in Mexico.
"She writhed with a jealous pang. She wondered when he would come back. He had not said he would come back. She had been wit him, had heard his voice and touched his hand. But some way he had seemed neared to her off there in Mexico." Chapter 34, pg. 136
Edna misses Robert terribly and sees remembrances of him everywhere. He does not visit her the following day. She does, however, receive a note from Alcee Arobin. Her passings with him have become quite habitual. Mr. Pontellier writes to Edna that he will return home in March and that they may then take their trip abroad. Edna speaks of taking painting classes in Paris. Edna's sensuality is becoming awakened by her time spent with Arobin.
Preoccupied by Robert and her work, Edna spends much time at a cozy coffee house, in which she believes she will see nobody she knows. One day, Robert walks in. Edna claims to only see him by accident and therein they begin to discuss their personal relations and happenstance meetings. She tells him that he is the embodiment of selfishness. She cares nothing of what he thinks, for she enjoys her habit of stating exactly what is on her mind. He responds that he thinks that she is cruel and tries to force him into disclosing emotions that may or may not be real. Edna apologizes and tells him to eat his food before it gets cold.
After the meal, they walk back to the pigeon-house together. She does not ask him to stay, although he waits while she washes. When she returns, she finds him looking through her magazines and pictures. She leans over and kisses him on the lips, passionately. "She put her hand up to his face and pressed his cheek against her own. The action was full of love and tenderness. He sought her lips again. Then he drew her down upon the sofa beside him and held her hand in both of his" Chapter 36, pg. 141. Robert exclaims that now Edna understands what he has been fighting since the summer and what drove him to and from Mexico. He explains that he could not give in to his feelings, for he was the wife of Leonce Pontellier and could not possibly be hers. He thought of her throughout his entire time in Mexico. She does not understand why he never wrote her and why he did not visit her upon his return. He explains that he could not give into his feelings. Edna overtly claims that she is neither the possession of Leonce or of Robert and will not be thought of as such. She kisses him all over and tells him he has been a foolish boy, for the two love each other deeply.
Celestine enters with one of Madame Ratignolle's servants. She is ill and requests Edna's presence. Robert offers to walk her over, but she declines his invitation. She wants to go alone, but hopes for him to wait for her. She tells him that she loves him and that nothing else matters in the world. He begs her to stay, but she leaves, telling him that she will return as soon as she can, and that they will soon be together. "Her seductive voice, together with his great love for her, had enthralled his sense, had deprived him of every impulse but the longing to hold her and keep her" Chapter 36, pg. 142.