Important Quotations Explained
short, Mrs. Pontellier was beginning to realize her position in
the universe as a human being, and to recognize 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.
But the beginning of things, of a world especially, is necessarily vague, tangled, 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.
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 realize why or how she
should have yielded, feeling as she then did.
many years have I slept?” she inquired. “The whole island seems
changed. A new race of beings must have sprung up, leaving only
you and me as past relics. How many ages ago did Madame Antoine
and Tonie die? And when did our people from Grand Isle disappear
from the earth?”
pigeon-house pleased her. It at once assumed the intimate character
of a home, while she herself invested it with a charm which it reflected
like a warm glow. 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.
years that are gone seem like dreams—if one might go on sleeping
and dreaming—but to wake up and find—oh! well! Perhaps it is better
to wake up after all, even to suffer, rather than to remain a dupe
to illusions all one’s life.”
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