Edna is an obedient wife and mother vacationing at Grand Isle with her family. While there, however, Edna become close to a young man named Robert Lebrun, but before they act on their mutual romantic interest in each other Robert leaves for Mexico. Edna is lonely without his companionship, and meets the attractive rake Alcee Arobin. Instead of spending her days concerned with household matters, Edna pursues her interest in painting. Rather than depending financially on her husband, Edna moves into a house of her own. By the time Robert returns, professing his love for Edna and his desire to marry her, Edna no longer believes in the limitations of traditional marriage. What will she choose instead? Is it possible to be a free woman and be responsible for the needs of others?