father has come to New Orleans in order to select a wedding gift
for his daughter Janet, and also to get a suit for himself.
He was a Colonel in the Confederate Army and extended his dominance
over his men onto his family.
Ad'le invites Edna and the Colonel to one of her musical evenings.
Ad'le, as usual, adopts her fawning attitude, which enchants the Colonel. Again L'once is conspicuous by his absence, preferring to frequent his Club. Strangely, Edna becomes closer to her father during his visit, genuinely enjoying his companionship. He has clearly mellowed with age.
As arranged, the doctor comes to dinner but does not notice anything
peculiar about Edna’s behavior.
party engages in after-dinner stories. The Colonel speaks of his
war adventures and aptly the doctor tells a tale concerning a woman
who experimented in ways of expressing her freedom, but came to
her senses and returned to society. This was clearly aimed at Edna
who tells her own story about a fictional woman who disappears to
an island with her lover. The doctor reads between the lines
of Edna’s story and later ponders the ramifications of the story,
hoping that Edna’s lover isn’t Arobin.
We again witness Ad'le’s flirtatious behavior at her musical evening which
disgusts Edna due to its insincerity. She thinks that Ad'le is quite pathetic in her pretentious flirting behavior.
At least she has the courage to truly explore her feelings and not pretend at being wayward. In contrast to Ad'le, Edna enjoys the attentions of men, but she does not degrade herself in pursuing their favors. She wants to deal with men on an equal basis.
after-dinner storytelling scene allowsthe doctor to subtly test
Edna. He is able to interpret Edna’s story as a confession that
she is having an affair. His fear is that Edna’s lover is the notorious