Edna refuses to be treated or behave as a stereotype. In her growing independence, she has declared that she will never again be the possession of another, and she abides by this statement in her affair with Alcée
Edna no longer has to look at the material objects that Léonce has purchased, and which remind her of his ownership of her
toward the man who has provided her with her livelihood. Once distanced from these reminders and alone in a new space of her own, Edna can enjoy a temporary escape from convention.
he can behave as she likes, without regard to how others will view her actions
she can clear the path for a relationship with the man she loves.
Edna believes that by freeing herself of the financial chains that bind her to Léonce,
While it does provide Edna with independence and isolation, allowing her to progress in her sexual awakening and to throw off Léonce’s authority, Edna will soon find that it offers less liberty than it initially seemed to promise. Edna escapes the gilded cage that Léonce’s house constituted, but she confines herself within a new sort of cage.
Social convention—and Robert’s concession to it—continues to keep Edna trapped and domesticated.
not only may Edna’s move have failed to improve her lot, the text’s symbolism suggests that the change of house may threaten actual damage to the vibrancy of her spirit.
Mademoiselle Reisz recognizes in Edna the same desire for escape and independence with which she has lived her own life. Knowing the hardships that Edna will face in her struggle to live outside convention, the older woman warns her protégé of the strength she will need, much in the same manner of her earlier advice on the “brave” and “courageous” artistic soul.
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