What Is The Role Of Edna's Alienation In The Awakening

1237 Words5 Pages
Amanda Richardson
Mrs. Schroder
AP Literature and Composition
2 January 2018
1995
Based in the early 19th century, Enda, the protagonist of The Awakening is stuck in an era where she does not agree with the values nor culture that those around her are accustomed to. Through Edna’s “awakening” and drastically different values, Kate Chopin is able to alienate her from the surrounding society. Edna’s thoughts and actions create conflict in her relationships. Surrounding characters are unable to understand or provide justification towards Edna’s new found culture and values, isolating Edna. Due to this, characters unable to perceive the actions of The Awakening protagonist remain in a state of confusion as well as provide major disapproval. From these recurring reactions, the reader is able to infer the values of other men
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During the conversation, Edna quotes, “I would give up the unessential; I would give my money, I would give my life for my children; but I wouldn 't give myself.” This means that she wants to balance independence and caring for her children and that she would not sacrifice the essential part of her for them but rather give up the unessential such as sensitivity that mother woman have. Madame Ratignolle does not understand Edna’s view and responds with “I don’t know what you would call the essential, or what you mean by the unessential but a woman who would give her life for her children could do not more than that”. Madame Ratignolle is unable to understand because she has not had an awakening as Edna has had and therefore the polar opposite values are shown between the two ideas. The response from Madame Ratignolle also shows the divide between Edna and the society during the 19th century. Not only do conversations show this dividend but interactions between Edna and her husband in the household

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