While Edna swims for the first time at the beach in Grand Isle, she feels a sense of independence and freedom she has never felt before. As she swims far out, fear overpowers her, but she overcomes it and regains the land.
Finally, I feel powerful and free!
I mean, I love them, but I would only give up the unessencial for them.
I do not understand why she does not want to be a mother-woman like me.
Right after Edna admits that she will miss Robert Lebrun, the younger man she catches feelings for, she tells Adèle Ratignole that she would give her life for her children, but she would never give herself.
I shall tell the cooks and the maids to take care of the house for me! I do not want to do anything but sketch.
Léonce Pontellier and their two children leave for New York and leave Edna alone. Once she has the house to herself, she begins to drift farther apart from the idea of being a "mother-woman" and fulfilling her domestic obligations.
I am sorry if I gave you the wrong image, you must leave now.
You did not give me a wrong image, these are just my feelings towards you.
Alcée Arobin, the man that introduces Edna to physical pleasures, stays with Edna for dinner at her house. Before leaving, he kisses her hand, making her feel unfaithful to Robert Lebrun, not to her husband.
I am officially free of Léonce and his duty to provide care of me!
Edna decides to move to a small pigeon house seeking personal freedom and independent growth. She pays for the house with the money she made selling her sketches.
I am better off dead than alive and trapped.
As Edna enters the ocean, she realizes that even though she is on her own, she will forever be trapped in society's expectations and will never be satisfied. Just like the beginning of the novel, Edna swims far from the shore, but this time she continues to swim farther and does not return.