Edna’s close friend is Ad'le Ratignolle.
She epitomizes grace and charm and is a doting mother to her children and perfect wife to her husband.
L'once is disappointed with Edna’s performance as a wife in comparison to
In contrast, Edna does not spoil her children; neither does she worship her
husband. Such actions she considers would erode her individuality.
Ad'le, Edna and Robert eat the bonbons that L'once has sent from New Orleans.
Edna is shocked at the topic of conversation, which in this instance is
childbirth. She is not used to such frank talk in front of men. However, she finds this type of conversation quite exhilarating and she is fast becoming used to the unique customs of the Creole women.
She is intrigued as to how the Creole women strike a balance between flirtatious behavior and a haughty demeanor.
We have noted L'once’s opinions concerning his wife’s treatment of their
The reader can sense Edna’s resentment of her children because they infringe
on her freedom. She will not have had any input into their conception. As a dutiful wife she would be expected to produce as many children as her husband desired.
This may be a reason why passion and excitement are not evident in their relationship.
Ad'le is symbolized as the perfect wife and mother, and they are called in
the book “Mother-women”.
There is a further analogy to birds, for Ad'le is described as “fluttering
about with extended, protecting wings”. These wings will not enable Ad'le to fly away and obtain freedom. She is a flightless bird whose clipped wings are used to protect her children and no more.
Unwittingly, Edna’s exposure to the unique Creole society will lead to her
taking further steps down the road to freedom, which the Creole women fear to take, or perhaps do not even contemplate pursuing.
We note that Edna is becoming more enlightened as the Chapters unfold.
Soon the cage which is the Victorian society that traps her will be destroyed, but what lies outside the cage for this well-fed pet is unknown.