seeks advice from his friend, Dr. Mandelet. After reviewing the
situation of Edna’s family background and associates, the doctor
suspects that none of these are factors in Edna’s change, but he
wonders if she is having an affair. He does not tell L'once this,
but suggests it is merely ‘a passing whim’ and that he should be
patient, and it will blow itself out. However, he also suggests
that he should come to dinner so he can observe Edna’s behavior
at close quarters.
Edna receives an invitation to attend her younger sister Janet’s wedding,
but she refuses, somewhat to the surprise of L'once.
L'once has been programmed to view the general behavior of women in a
certain way. Any deviation from this conventional behavior is deemed to be eccentric, and perhaps a sign of mental illness.
Chopin makes it clear that Mandelet is more than just a doctor, but also a
family friend, and he is able to advise L'once to be patient and hopefully Edna’s behavior is merely temporary. What he suspects is that Edna is having an affair, and he is obviously able to read the signs
much better than L'once.