Childbirth In Kate Chopin's The Awakening

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Because she was drugged during the delivery of both her sons, Edna never truly experienced childbirth. She didn’t realize the overwhelming natural force of bringing a child into the world.
When she witnesses the birth of Adele’s child, it is brought to her attention that the female body is designed for childbirth, and she has already committed herself to this purpose by becoming a mother. Her mindset is all wrong for a mother, she sees children as just one more life to populate the world, yet nature has decided that this is her purpose in the world. Edna’s realization about her natural position of woman and mother in combination with the societal position she’s expected to fill drives her to suicide.
The concept of sharing her body with another being, becoming truly a part of something other than her individual self, is the opposite of everything that Edna has been looking for. She thinks of how Raoul and Etienne will be a constant presence in her life and how her natural position as a mother prevents her from being able to live a life without them. After all, a woman’s primary job is to bring her …show more content…

“The children appeared before her like antagonists who had overcome her; who had overpowered and sought to drag her into the soul’s slavery for the rest of her days” (Chopin 127). Edna will not allow her self to be chained to its natural and societal titles, and she commits suicide to free it from these definitions.
In a final statement as to the universality of motherhood, Edna’s acceptance of death is also a rebirth. Nine months have passed since Edna’s enlightening summer in Grand Isle, and her fetus-self is ready to be delivered. “For the first time in her life she stood naked in the open air, at the mercy of the sun, the breeze that beat upon her, and the waves that invited her. She felt like some newborn creature, opening its eyes in a familiar world that it has never known”

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