50 Shades of Grey
E. L. James
Contributed by Margherita Wickersham
Chapter 26

Ana wakes up at five in the morning and Christian is not in bed. She hears that he is playing the piano and decides to go and listen to him. At first, she does not want to inform him of her presence, but she is still attracted to him. She then asks him to play the sad song he played on the first night she stayed (James 432). She also asks him the reasons for playing sad songs. In response, he says that he learned to play the piano in efforts of trying to impress his mother.

Ana is not willing to go back to bed and Christian wants to have sex with her on his piano. However, Ana wants to set something straight especially pertaining the contract. On the other hand, Grey thinks that the contract is not a necessity since he already considers having ‘more’ with Ana. Nonetheless, he claims that the rules must always apply and that he will always punish Ana if she breaks the rules (James 434). At this point, Ana wants to go through the rules again and Grey is happy to hand them to her again. In addition, he says that she must obey him and she intentionally rolls her eyes. In turn, Grey wants to spank her for the behavior. Ana is playful and wants him to catch her first before he delivers the punishment (James 437).

Finally, Ana confesses that she hates the punishment as much as Christian hates being touched. She then realizes that his hate for a touch on his body is deep and profound within him to a level she never anticipated. At this realization, she decides that she will try walking in his dark side. She asks him to punish her and the two head to the playroom. Grey hits Ana hard making her shudder in the realization that she cannot take his brutality. She only desires to leave Grey’s house and everything about him (James 442). She heads into her bedroom and sobs in her pillow. Christian comes in and tries to comfort her. There, Ana confesses that she is in love with him, but he shuns away saying that he cannot offer the same. Therefore, Ana gets ready to leave, and she gives back the MacBook, Blackberry and the car keys. She also asks for the money acquired after Taylor sold the Beetle. Grey writes her a check despite his unwillingness to let her go. Back at the apartment, Ana notes that it does not feel like home yet. She cannot believe that she has ended her relationship with Christian. She declares it a grief, one that she brought to herself.


The reason why Ana wakes up early relates to her stay in Savannah. It is clear that she was calm while with her mother thus adjusting to the place easily. On the other hand, Christian is playing his sad songs since they remind him of his past. The author shows that Christian is no longer afraid of his past, and he acknowledges that it played part in building his life. Besides, Grey seems to have drifted from his former self, as he no longer makes the contract a main reference. In fact, he opts to ignore it as long as the two continue following the rules. This shows that he trying to change with the aim of pleasing Ana while still keeping her under his control. Ana is playful with Grey and this shows the exact nature of the relationship she desires. Ideally, she wants Christian to love her and to express that love in action not as a dominant but as a lover. Surprisingly, she is willing to explore the dark side of Grey in the efforts of bringing him back to normality.

Ana fights Christian off after the punishment. At that moment, it dawns on her that she cannot fulfill all of Christian’s desires. She weeps intensively as she cannot believe that she has to leave him despite the love she has for him. Returning all the things Grey had bought her shows that she intends to break away from him and forget him completely. However, she still feels an urge to go back and console Grey since her love for him is infinite. This comes clear after she goes back to her apartment and hugs tightly to the deflated helicopter balloon. The authors complete the work with a hint that Ana might reconsider her decision since she truly loves Christian and she is not strong enough to forget about him.

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