Alcee Arobin

Alcee Arobin
Gib, Marena, and Rachel
Into to character: Gossip
• Robert: "'Now if I were like Arobin- you
remember Alcee Arobin and that story of the
consul's wife at Biloxi?' And he related the
story of Alcee Arobin...till Mrs. Pontellier and
her possible propensity for taking young men
seriously was napparently forgotten." (VIII)
• From early on, Alcee maintains a reputation
for being a womanizer, specifically to older
married women.
Enter: Arobin
"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... 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."
• Clearly an attractive man that effectively
seduces Edna early on.
Bucking the Norm of Approved
• Called by Mrs. Highcamp and Alcee Arobin,
Edna goes to races multiple times.
"The fever of the game flamed in her cheeks and
eyes, and it got into her blood and into her brain like an
intoxicant... Arobin caught the contagion of excitement
which drew him to Edna like a magnet." (XXV)
• Arobin's affection begins early in his
relationship with Edna and will increase
Alcee in New Orlean Society
"He was a familiar figure at the race course, the opera,
the fashionable clubs." (XXV)
"Alcee Arobin wrote Edna an elaborate note of apology,
palpitant with sincerity." (XXVI)
• Arobin is very comfortable with the confines
of the Creole society as he enjoys the luxuries
and entertains himself with married women.
He's Just a Body
"Alcee 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." (XXV)
"And then there was scarcely a day which followed she
did not see him or was not reminded of him. He was
prolific in pretexts. She grew accustomed to him. They
became intimate and friendly by imperceptible degrees,
and then by leaps. He sometimes talked in a way that
astonished her at first and brought the crimson into her
face; in a way that pleased her at last, appealing to the
animalism that stirred impatiently within her..." (XXVI)
Resounding Influence
•"There was no one thing in the world that she desired.
There was no human being whom she wanted near her
except Robert; and she even realized that the day would
come when he, too, and the thought of him would melt out
of her existence."
• Ultimately she realizes that such sexual
enjoyment and even love's passion will fade
over time. She also runs the risk of becoming
trapped like she was with Leonce.
Does he really give a crap?
It is doubtful that the death of Edna would be devastating to Alcee
by the relative nonchalant nature that he truly treats their
relationship. From the offset, Alcee's trend is a string of
relationships with married women and ultimately he must either
bore of them or they turn him down as Edna will inadvertently do.
When he says to Edna that he only lives when he is near her, she
replies if he uses it on all his women, and he continues by saying, "I
have said it before, but I don't think I ever came so near meaning it."
-Hardly convincing of total love when it does seem practically a
game to him still. Most of his acts of affection are among company
(such as the flattering toast) or in hopes of furthering the possibility
of romance with her. Thus, his affection does not seem deeply
enough entrenched to be permanently hampered by her death. In
addition, towards the end of their relationship, he senses her
distracted thoughts and must realize the jig is up (thus preparing to
separate himself.)