At the end of the novel, Edna returns to Grand Isle, and after stripping down to her swimsuit, she walks into the sea. She begins to swim until she loses her strength and presumably drowns. This scene symbolizes Edna leaving society behind, just as when she swims in Chapter X she looks back to the shore to see all her companions left behind. Although Chopin leaves Edna’s intentions behind her suicidal swim ambiguous, we know that Edna’s swim can only end in death because swimming out to the horizon is impossible. Her death leads us to question whether going against the dictates of society should be as sure a death sentence as swimming against the sea. In addition, the ambiguity of Edna’s intentions forces us to focus less on Edna’s individual choices that lead her to swim out and more on the injustice that has led to her doom. In this way, Chopin reveals how patriarchal society and motherhood thoroughly entrap women without resorting to overt moralizing.