Before L'once has had the opportunity to respond to Edna’s letter, she
starts to pack her own belongings ready to move to her new house which is not far from her present home.
One of the servants describes the house as the “pigeon house”. This is a comment on the house’s appearance and size, the type of home where rich people would keep their pigeons.
Arobin calls to see her, but she remains aloof, absorbed in packing her
belongings. She plans to have a celebratory dinner the night before her move to which Arobin will be invited. He wants to see more of Edna, but she is against this idea.
Arobin is slightly put out by Edna’s somewhat cold approach to him. He
is used to being the controlling factor in his relationships with women, and he is surprised at the way Edna has picked him up and now put him down.
You will recall at the very start of the book that Edna was symbolized by
the colorful parrot in its gilded cage, now we see her as paralleled to a pigeon, a dull grey bird residing in a coup. There was also reference to a bird in Chapter 27 in Mlle. Reisz’s description of what is
required if one is to escape convention. Strong wings are required, and certainly pigeons have these, but has Edna made the transformation from parrot to pigeon?
Will she be strong enough to stay true to her goal of absolute freedom and independence? Or, will she fall back to earth with a jolt?
We know that Mlle. Reisz has successfully maintained her independence.
She certainly has the strength, and she does try to warn Edna.
We sense a tragedy on the horizon as Edna prepares to leave the plush house
provided by L'once (the gilded cage), to travel to a new cage where she may still be trapped by her isolation from the conventional society around her.
Mlle. Reisz certainly has the temperament for this way of life, but does Edna?