I'm tired," she uttered complainingly. "I know you are." "You don't know anything about it. Why should you know? I never was so exhausted in my life. But it isn't unpleasant. A thousand emotions have swept through me to-night. I don't comprehend half on them. Don't mind what I'm saying; I am just thinking aloud.
In short, Mrs. Pontellier was beginning to realize her position in the universe as a human being, and to recongize her relations as an individual to the world within and about her. This may seem like a ponderous weight of wisdom to descend upon the soul of a young woman of twenty-eight - perhaps more wisdom than the Holy Ghost is usually pleased to vouchsafe to any woman.
short quotesmrs quotespontellier quotesbeginning quotesrealize quotesposition quotesuniverse quoteshuman quotesrecongize quotesrelations quotesindividual quotesworld quotesponderous quotesweight quoteswisdom quotesdescend quotessoul quotesyoung quoteswoman quotestwentyeight quotesholy quotesghost quotespleased quotesvouchsafe quoteswoman quotes
But the beginning of things, of a world especially, is necessarily vague, chaotic, and exceedingly disturbing. How few of us ever emerge from such beginning! How many souls perish in its tumult! The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of solitude; to lose itself in mazes of inward contemplation. The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace.
beginning quotesthings quotesworld quotesnecessarily quotesvague quoteschaotic quotesexceedingly quotesdisturbing quotesemerge quotesbeginning quotessouls quotesperish quotestumult quotesvoice quotessea quotesseductive quotesceasing quoteswhispering quotesclamoring quotesmurmuring quotesinviting quotessoul quoteswander quotesspell quotesabysses quotessolitude quoteslose quotesmazes quotescontemplation quotesspeaks quotessoul quotestouch quotessensuous quotesenfolding quotesbody quotessoft quotesclose quotesembrace quotes
I dance with people I despise; amuse myself with men whose only talent lies in their feet, gain the disapprobation of people I honor and respect; return home at day break with my brain in a state which was never intended for it; and arise in the middle of the next day feeling infinitely more, in spirit and flesh like a Liliputian, than a woman with body and soul. Entry (when she was eighteen) in her Commonplace Book, 1868-1869.
dance quotespeople quotesdespise quotesamuse quotesmen quotestalent quoteslies quotesfeet quotesgain quotesdisapprobation quoteshonor quotesrespect quotesreturn quoteshome quotesday quotesbreak quotesbrain quotesstate quotesintended quotesarise quotesmiddle quotesfeeling quotesinfinitely quotesspirit quotesflesh quotesliliputian quoteswoman quotesbody quotessoul quotesentry quoteseighteen quotescommonplace quotesbook quotes18681869 quotes
It sometimes entered Mr. Pontellier's mind to wonder if his wife were not growing a little unbalanced mentally. He could see plainly that she was not herself. That is, he could not see that she was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self which we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world.
The mother-women seemed to prevail that summer at Grand Isle. It was easy to know them, fluttering about with extended, protecting wings when any harm, real or imaginary, threatened their precious brood. They were women who idolized their children, worshiped their husbands, and esteemed it a holy privilege to efface themselves as individuals and grow wings as ministering angels.
motherwomen quotesprevail quotessummer quotesgrand quotesisle quoteseasy quotesfluttering quotesextended quotesprotecting quoteswings quotesharm quotesreal quotesimaginary quotesthreatened quotesprecious quotesbrood quoteswomen quotesidolized quoteschildren quotesworshiped quoteshusbands quotesesteemed quotesholy quotesprivilege quotesefface quotesindividuals quotesgrow quotesministering quotesangels quotes
The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of solitude; to lose itself in mazes of inward contemplation. The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace.
voice quotessea quotesseductive quotesceasing quoteswhispering quotesclamoring quotesmurmuring quotesinviting quotessoul quoteswander quotesspell quotesabysses quotessolitude quoteslose quotesmazes quotescontemplation quotesspeaks quotessoul quotestouch quotessensuous quotesenfolding quotesbody quotessoft quotesclose quotesembrace quotes
An indescribable oppression, which seemed to generate in some unfamiliar part of her consciousness, filled her whole being with a vague anguish. It was like a shadow, like a mist passing across her soul's summer day. It was strange and unfamiliar; it was a mood. She did not sit there inwardly upbraiding her husband, lamenting at Fate, which had directed her footsteps to the path which they had taken. She was just having a good cry all to herself.
indescribable quotesoppression quotesgenerate quotesunfamiliar quotespart quotesconsciousness quotesfilled quotesvague quotesanguish quotesshadow quotesmist quotespassing quotessouls quotessummer quotesday quotesstrange quotesunfamiliar quotesmood quotessit quotesinwardly quotesupbraiding quoteshusband quoteslamenting quotesfate quotesdirected quotesfootsteps quotespath quotesgood quotescry quotes
She was still under the spell of her infatuation. She had tried to forget him, realizing the inutility of remembering. But the thought of him was like an obsession, ever pressing itself upon her. It was not that she dwelt upon details of their acquaintance, or recalled in any special or peculiar way his personality; it was his being, his existence, which dominated her thought, fading sometimes as if it would melt into the mist of the forgotten, reviving again with an intensity which filled her with an incomprehensible longing.
spell quotesinfatuation quotesforget quotesrealizing quotesinutility quotesremembering quotesthought quotesobsession quotespressing quotesdwelt quotesdetails quotesacquaintance quotesrecalled quotesspecial quotespeculiar quotespersonality quotesexistence quotesdominated quotesthought quotesfading quotesmelt quotesmist quotesforgotten quotesreviving quotesintensity quotesfilled quotesincomprehensible quoteslonging quotes
Edna felt depressed rather than soothed after leaving them. The little glimpse of domestic harmony which had been offered her, gave her no regret, no longing. It was not a condition of life which fitted her, and she could see in it but an apalling and hopeless ennui. She was moved by a kind of commiseration for Madame Ratignolle, - a pity for that colorless existence which never uplifted its possessor beyond the region of blind contentment, in which no moment of anguish ever visited her soul, in which she would never have the taste of life's delirium. Edna vaguely wondered what she meant by "life's delirium." It had crossed her thought like some unsought, extraneous impression.
edna quotesfelt quotesdepressed quotessoothed quotesleaving quotesglimpse quotesdomestic quotesharmony quotesoffered quotesgave quotesregret quoteslonging quotescondition quoteslife quotesfitted quotesapalling quoteshopeless quotesennui quotesmoved quoteskind quotescommiseration quotesmadame quotesratignolle quotespity quotescolorless quotesexistence quotesuplifted quotespossessor quotesregion quotesblind quotescontentment quotesmoment quotesanguish quotesvisited quotessoul quotestaste quoteslifes quotesdelirium quotesvaguely quoteswondered quotesmeant quoteslifes quotesdelirium quotescrossed quotesthought quotesunsought quotesextraneous quotesimpression quotes
She perceived that her will had blazed up, stubborn and resistant. She could not at that moment have done other than denied and resisted. She wondered if her husband had ever spoken to her like that before. and if she had submitted to his command. Of course she had; she remembered that she had. But she could not realise why or how she should have yielded, feeling as she then did.
Some people are born with a vital and responsive energy. It not only enables them to keep abreast of the times; it qualifies them to furnish in their own personality a good bit of the motive power to the mad pace. They are fortunate beings. They do not need to apprehend the significance of things. They do not grow weary nor miss step, nor do they fall out of rank and sink by the wayside to be left contemplating the moving procession. Ah! that moving procession that has left me by the road-side! Its fantastic colors are more brilliant and beautiful than the sun on the undulating waters. What matter if souls and bodies are failing beneath the feet of the ever-pressing multitude! It moves with the majestic rhythm of the spheres. Its discordant clashes sweep upward in one harmonious tone that blends with the music of other worlds-to complete God's orchestra. It is greater than the stars-that moving procession of human energy; greater than the palpitating earth and the things growing thereon. Oh! I could weep at being left by the wayside; left with the grass and the clouds and a few dumb animals. True, I feel at home in the society of these symbols of life's immutability. In the procession I should feel the crushing feet, the clashing discords, the ruthless hands and stifling breath. I could not hear the rhythm of the march. Salve! ye dumb hearts. Let us be still and wait by the roadside.
people quotesborn quotesvital quotesresponsive quotesenergy quotesenables quotesabreast quotestimes quotesqualifies quotesfurnish quotespersonality quotesgood quotesbit quotesmotive quotespower quotesmad quotespace quotesfortunate quotesbeings quotesapprehend quotessignificance quotesthings quotesgrow quotesweary quotesmiss quotesstep quotesfall quotesrank quotessink quoteswayside quotesleft quotescontemplating quotesmoving quotesprocession quotesah quotesprocession quotesroadside quotesfantastic quotescolors quotesbrilliant quotesbeautiful quotessun quotesundulating quoteswaters quotesmatter quotessouls quotesbodies quotesfailing quotesbeneath quotesfeet quoteseverpressing quotesmultitude quotesmoves quotesmajestic quotesrhythm quotesspheres quotesdiscordant quotesclashes quotessweep quotesupward quotesharmonious quotestone quotesblends quotesmusic quotesworldsto quotescomplete quotesgods quotesorchestra quotesgreater quotesstarsthat quoteshuman quotesenergy quotespalpitating quotesearth quotesthings quotesgrowing quotesthereon quotesweep quoteswayside quotesgrass quotesclouds quotesdumb quotesanimals quotestrue quotesfeel quoteshome quotessociety quotessymbols quoteslifes quotesimmutability quotescrushing quotesfeet quotesclashing quotesdiscords quotesruthless quoteshands quotesstifling quotesbreath quoteshear quotesmarch quotessalve quotesye quoteshearts quoteswait quotesroadside quotes
when I left her to-day, she put her arms around me and felt my shoulder blades, to see if my wings were strong, she said. 'The bird that would soar above the level plain of tradition and prejudice must have strong wings. It is a sad spectacle to see the weaklings bruised, exhausted, fluttering back to earth.'Â
left quotestoday quotesput quotesarms quotesfelt quotesshoulder quotesblades quoteswings quotesstrong quotesthe quotesbird quotessoar quoteslevel quotesplain quotestradition quotesprejudice quotesstrong quoteswings quotessad quotesspectacle quotesweaklings quotesbruised quotesexhausted quotesfluttering quotesback quotesearthÂ quotes
The trouble is, " sighed the Doctor, grasping her meaning intuitively, "that youth is given up to illusions. It seems to be a provision of Nature; a decoy to secure mothers for the race. And Nature takes no account of moral consequences, of arbitrary conditions which we create, and which we feel obliged to maintain at any cost.
trouble quotessighed quotesdoctor quotesgrasping quotesmeaning quotesintuitively quotesyouth quotesillusions quotesprovision quotesnature quotesdecoy quotessecure quotesmothers quotesrace quotesnature quotestakes quotesaccount quotesmoral quotesconsequences quotesarbitrary quotesconditions quotescreate quotesfeel quotesobliged quotesmaintain quotescost quotes
There was with her a feeling of having descended in the social scale, with a corresponding sense of having risen in the spiritual. Every step which she took toward relieving herself from obligations added to her strength and expansion as an individual. She began to look with her own eyes; to see and to apprehend the deeper undercurrents of life. No longer was she content to 'feed upon opinion' when her own soul had invited her.
feeling quotesdescended quotessocial quotesscale quotessense quotesrisen quotesspiritual quotesstep quotesrelieving quotesobligations quotesadded quotesstrength quotesexpansion quotesindividual quotesbegan quoteseyes quotesapprehend quotesdeeper quotesundercurrents quoteslife quoteslonger quotescontent quotesfeed quotesopinion quotessoul quotesinvited quotes
there would be no powerful will binding hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow creature... And yet she had loved him- sometimes. Often she had not. What did it matter! What could love, the unsolved mystery, count for in the face of this possession of self-assertion which she suddenly recognized as the strongest impulse of her being.
powerful quotesbinding quotesblind quotespersistence quotesmen quoteswomen quotesimpose quotesprivate quotesfellow quotescreature quotesloved quotesmatter quoteslove quotesunsolved quotesmystery quotescount quotesface quotespossession quotesselfassertion quotessuddenly quotesrecognized quotesstrongest quotesimpulse quotes
Exhaustion was pressing upon and overpowering her. "Good-by-because I love you." He did not know; he did not understand. He would never understand. Perhaps Doctor Mandelet would have understood if she had seen him-but it was too late; the shore was far behind her, and her strength was gone. She looked into the distance, and the old terror flamed up for an instant, then sank again.
There would be no one there to live for her during those coming years; she would live for herself. There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistance with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature. A kind intention or a cruel intention made the act seem no less a crime as she looked upon it in that brief moment of illumination.
I'm going to pull myself together for a while and think-try to determine what character of a woman I am; for, candidly, I don't know. By all the codes which I am acquainted with, I am a devilishly wicked specimen of the sex. But some way I can't convince myself that I am. I must think about it.
Why?" asked her companion. "Why do you love him when you ought not to?" Edna, with a motion or two, dragged herself on her knees before Mademoiselle Reisz, who took the glowing face between her two hands. "Why? Because his hair is brown and grows away from his temples; because he opens and shuts his eyes, and his nose is a little out of drawing; because he has two lips and a square chin, and a little finger which he can't straighten from having played baseball too energetically in his youth. Because - " "Because you do, in short," laughed Mademoiselle.
asked quotescompanion quoteslove quotesedna quotesmotion quotesdragged quotesknees quotesmademoiselle quotesreisz quotesglowing quotesface quoteshands quoteshair quotesbrown quotesgrows quotestemples quotesopens quotesshuts quoteseyes quotesnose quotesdrawing quoteslips quotessquare quoteschin quotesfinger quotesstraighten quotesplayed quotesbaseball quotesenergetically quotesyouth quotesshort quoteslaughed quotesmademoiselle quotes
Exhaustion was pressing upon and overpowering her. "Good-by--because I love you." He did not know; he did not understand. He would never understand. Perhaps Doctor Mandelet would have understood if she had seen him--but it was too late; the shore was far behind her, and her strength was gone. She looked into the distance, and the old terror flamed up for an instant, then sank again.
You have been a very foolish boy, wasting your time dreaming of impossible things when you speak of Mr. Pontellier setting me free! I am no longer one of Mr. Pontelliere's possessions to dispose of or not. I give myself where I choose. If he were to say, 'Here Robert, take her and be happy; she is yours,' I should laugh at you both.
foolish quotesboy quoteswasting quotestime quotesdreaming quotesimpossible quotesthings quotesspeak quotesmr quotespontellier quotessetting quotesfree quoteslonger quotespontellieres quotespossessions quotesdispose quotesgive quoteschoose quoteshere quotesrobert quoteshappy quotesyours quoteslaugh quotes
Madame Ratignolle hoped that Robert would exercise extreme caution in dealing with the Mexicans, who, she considered, were a treacherous people, unscrupulous and revengeful. She trusted she did them no injustice in thus condemning them as a race. She had known personally but one Mexican, who made and sold excellent tamales, and whom she would have trusted implicitly, so soft-spoken was he. One day he was arrested for stabbing his wife. She never knew whether he had been hanged or not.
madame quotesratignolle quoteshoped quotesrobert quotesexercise quotesextreme quotescaution quotesdealing quotesmexicans quotesconsidered quotestreacherous quotespeople quotesunscrupulous quotesrevengeful quotestrusted quotesinjustice quotescondemning quotesrace quotespersonally quotesmexican quotesmade quotessold quotesexcellent quotestamales quotesimplicitly quotessoftspoken quotesday quotesarrested quotesstabbing quoteswife quotesknew quoteshanged quotes
She looked into the distance, and the old terror flamed up for an instant, then sank again. Edna heard her father's voice and her sister Margaret's. She heard the barking of an old dog that was chained to the sycamore tree. The spurs of the cavalry officer clanged as he walked across the porch. There was the hum of bees, and the musky odor of pinks filled the air. (last lines)
looked quotesdistance quotesterror quotesflamed quotesinstant quotessank quotesedna quotesheard quotesfathers quotesvoice quotessister quotesmargarets quotesbarking quotesdog quoteschained quotessycamore quotestree quotesspurs quotescavalry quotesofficer quotesclanged quoteswalked quotesporch quoteshum quotesbees quotesmusky quotesodor quotespinks quotesfilled quotesair quoteslines quotes
Do you suppose a woman knows why she loves? Does she select? Does she say to herself, 'Go to! here is a distinguished statesman with presidential possibilities; I shall proceed to fall in love with him.' or, 'I shall set my heart upon this musician, whose fame is on every tongue?' or 'this financier, who controls the world's money markets?'
suppose quoteswoman quotesloves quotesselect quotesgo quotesdistinguished quotesstatesman quotespresidential quotespossibilities quotesproceed quotesfall quoteslove quoteshim quotesi quotesset quotesheart quotesmusician quotesfame quotestongue quotesthis quotesfinancier quotescontrols quotesworlds quotesmoney quotesmarkets quotes