"He was a familiar figure at the race
course, the opera, the fashionable clubs.
There was a perpetual smile in his eyes,
which seldom failed to awaken a
corresponding cheerfulness in any one
who looked into them and listened to his
good-humored voice. His manner was
quiet, and at times a little insolent. He
possessed a good figure, a pleasing face,
not overburdened with depth of thought
or feeling; and his dress was that of the
conventional man of fashion."
"The afternoon was intensely interesting to
her. The excitement came back upon her like
a remittent fever. Her talk grew familiar and
confidential. It was no labor to become
intimate with Arobin. His manner invited
easy confidence. The preliminary stage of
becoming acquainted was one which he
always endeavored to ignore when a pretty
and engaging woman was concerned."
This is Alcée
This not only describes
Alcée, but also his role in Creole
society. He makes all of the proper
appearances despite the fact , as seen in
later slides, that he is sort of looked
down as a womanizer.
“His manner invited easy
confidence.” While this
means another thing in
context, it shows his
influence over Edna.
This is Alcée
He admired Edna extravagantly, after
meeting her at the races with her
father. He had met her before on
other occasions, but she had seemed
to him unapproachable until that day.
It was at his instigation that Mrs.
Highcamp called to ask her to go with
them to the Jockey Club to witness
the turf event of the season.
He's been interested in Edna
from the start, but because he
adheres to his role in society,
so that he asks Mrs.
Highcamp to invite her so they
can get better acquainted.
This is Alcée
"I hope it isn't Arobin," he muttered to
himself as he walked. "I hope to heaven it
isn't Alcée Arobin.”
"Alcée Arobin! What on earth is his picture
doing here?... Is he a friend of Mr.
Pontellier's? You never said you knew
"Now if I were like Arobin -- you remember
Alcée Arobin and that story of the consul's
wife at Biloxi?" And he related the story of
Alcée Arobin and the consul's wife..."
' "Well, the reason -- you know how evilminded the world is -- some one was
talking of Alcée Arobin visiting you. Of
course, it wouldn't matter if Mr. Arobin had
not such a dreadful reputation. Monsieur
Ratignolle was telling me that his
attentions alone are considered enough to
ruin a woman s name."
It’s pretty widely known that
Alcée Arobin can’t be trusted
with women. His reputation is
so bad that even by
associating with him Edna is
being rebellious.
Alcée Has Influence
"One of these days," she said, "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.”
Despite the fact that Arobin
is a place where Edna is
able to be free and rebel
against society, he tries to
delay her self-awakening
"Don't. What's the use? Why should you
bother thinking about it when I can tell you
what manner of woman you are.”
When he leaned forward and kissed her, she
clasped his head, holding his lips to hers. It
was the first kiss of her life to which her
nature had really responded. It was a
flaming torch that kindled desire.
Despite his initial
words, his affection
towards her leads her
to become more
rebellious and aware of
what she wants.
Alcée Has Influence
Edna cried a little that night after
Arobin left her…There was with
her an overwhelming feeling of
irresponsibility. There was the
shock of the unexpected and the
There was Robert's reproach
making itself felt by a quicker,
fiercer, more overpowering love,
which had awakened within her
toward him.
She’s crying, which is
important. She cries
when she realizes
something about herself.
Also the pains of
Arobin helps her realize
that she loves Robert
more than she thought
she had.
Alcée Has Influence
Above all, there was
understanding. She felt as if a mist
had been lifted from her eyes,
enabling her to took upon and
comprehend the significance of
life, that monster made up of
beauty and brutality.
There was a dull pang of regret
because it was not the kiss of love
which had inflamed her, because it
was not love which had held this
cup of life to her lips.
Edna feels as if she is
seeing clearly for the first
time after this affair. She
realizes the “significance of
Arobin is not so much a
romantic interest for Edna,
but a life line. It is because
of him she is fully
awakened, but not out of
love. Just out of need.
Alcée Has Influence
Alcée Arobin was absolutely
nothing to her. Yet his presence,
his manners, the warmth of his
glances, and above all the touch of
his lips upon her hand had acted
like a narcotic upon her.
Much to her surprise she received
a note from Arobin, written at
midnight from the club. It was to
say good morning to her, to hope
she had slept well, to assure her of
his devotion, which he trusted she
in some faintest manner returned.
To Arobin's note she made no reply.
She put it under Celestine's stove-lid.
Again, his nothingness, but
a sort of addiction. She
feels no attachment, and he
feels some.
Alcée Has Influence
When Arobin, one night, urged her
to drive with him, she went -- out to
the lake, on the Shell Road. His
horses were full of mettle, and even
a little unmanageable. She liked the
rapid gait at which they spun along,
and the quick, sharp sound of the
horses' hoofs on the hard road.
It was late when he left her. It was
getting to be more than a passing
whim with Arobin to see her and be
with her. He had detected the latent
sensuality, which unfolded under
his delicate sense of her nature's
requirements like a torpid, torrid,
sensitive blossom.
There was no despondency when she
fell asleep that night; nor was there
hope when she awoke in the morning.
His horses are almost
unmanageable in taking her
where she needs to be.
Metaphor for Alcée helping
her to awaken, but the method
used to get there is a little
wild, and may lead to part of
her inability to cope with her
He is a life line that she has,
but does not love. It is through
his affection that he survives
and through hers that he does.
He helps her get through
things, but simply as a tool.
Alcée’s Reaction
While initially surprised and saddened to hear of
Edna’s death, Alcée would not be burdened too
much with it.
Over time, and a shorter one than many other
people, he would come to sort of forget about
Yes, he would occasionally think of her, and
recall their affair fondly, but her death’s
importance on him would not be so great as to
render him inconsolable or desolate to have lost
a lover.
He would move on to the next lady and start over
again with her.