L'once returns to the cottage after playing billiards, it is already
past bedtime. Feeling exhilarated, he feels like talking and thinks
nothing of waking Edna. Edna does not share his enthusiasm and is
not responsive. He finally stops talking and before going to bed,
he checks on his two sons. He comes back and tells Edna that Raoul
seems to have a fever and wants her to get out of bed and go to
him. When Edna refuses and does not seem concerned, he suggests
that Edna should show more care for her children. Edna gets out
of bed and checks on the children. She decides that they are fine,
but cannot settle back to sleep. She sits alone on the porch and
finds herself feeling estranged from her husband.
is exhilarated during the daylight hours when she is with Robert,
but when she returns to her husband and children, she feels drained
day, L'once leaves on a business trip. When he arrives in New Orleans,
he sends Edna a box of bonbons.
ladies consider L'once to be one of the most dutiful husbands in
are aware of the atmosphere between Edna and her husband. He accuses
her of being inattentive towards their children. We see the source
of Edna's discontent in that she is not a full partner in the marriage.
She is regarded as a possession by L'once, and she feels that her
sphere of influence is limited to the children and to being an addendum
to her husband.
note that there is a lack of real communication between the couple.
L'once is not interested in his wife's needs, smugly thinking that
he has provided all that she could possibly want, children and a
good social position. He expects her to be a good mother, home-keeper,
and hostess to his business associates when entertaining.