A modern woman emerging and developing ahead of her time, dealing with the challenges of gaining independence in a time period where woman weren’t human. This is Edna Pontellier’s conflict told in the novel the Awakening by Kate Chopin. Late in her already establish life Edna a wife and mother of two discovers herself to realize she goes against society’s ideals as a woman. Never truly attempting to fit into the “woman” role Edna finds herself stepping out of her cage through self-discovery. Author Kate Chopin creates and utilizes symbols and motifs to develop the multiple cognizances Edna undergoes. Edna deals with the repercussions of a society that isn’t as accustoms to a woman being
In Kate Chopin’s novel, The Awakening, we are introduced to a woman named Edna Pontellier. She is a wife, a mother, and a homemaker who struggles to fit in the ideal “Victorian woman” mold. The expectations of women during the Victorian era was for women to be devoted to her husband, children and her home and it was frowned if a woman were to devote some time for the benefit of herself. The women were like caged birds; unable to use her wings for flight. Throughout the novel, Edna’s dissatisfaction with her life becomes apparent and we see Edna’s journey to independence and self-discovery. Chopin uses bird symbolism and metaphors to reflect Edna’s journey and her true desires. The bird is used as a symbolic element used to represent Edna and
Often times when a person is forced to outwardly conform while questioning themselves it leads to a struggle between their inner selves and what is expected of them. Outward conformity often oppresses a character’s true feelings of loneliness and being misunderstood. In The Awakening by Kate Chopin, the protagonist, Edna Pontellier, leads a dissatisfactory life. She is stuck in a loveless marriage, and has children, all in an attempt to conform to the social norm of the Victorian woman. However, she inwardly questions whether or not she should try to break free from this life to find her own independence and happiness. Edna continually questions whether or not she is destined to live a life of subordination or if she can find her own freedom. Edna Pontellier’s defiant nature is brought out
This novel, The Awakening, is about a woman named Edna Pontellier learns to think of herself as an independent human being. Also, Edna Pontellier refuses to obey against the social norms by leaving her husband Leónce Pontellier and having an affair with Robert Lebrun. Kate Chopin describes societal expectations and the battle of fitting the mold of motherhood in the Awakening by how Edna Pontellier and Adele Ratignolle contribute to their family in different ways. Edna Pontellier’s attitude toward motherhood is that she is not a perfect mother-women. Adele Ratignolle’s attitude toward motherhood is that she is a perfect mother-women.
I grew up hearing the saying that a little girl could have an old soul, or that someone is well beyond their years. These sayings are popular to societies, because they try to explain why certain individuals differentiate from the acceptable norms in ways that may be more complicated than just personality traits. In The Awakening, Edna Pontellier is no exception. Her society’s expectations differ from who she is and how she is willing to act so that she would fit in.
The Awakening by Kate Chopin is a novel filled with many conflicting perspectives in the mind of Edna Pontellier. Mrs. Pontellier is a complex character filled with different desires and ambitions for what she wants out of her life. Throughout the novel, we get to know the many sides to this character and we see who she becomes and how that leads to her eventual peaceful downfall. Starting from the beginning, she seems to have the same ideals as the typical woman in her time, but she is unhappy and her unhappiness leads to rebellion and the breaking of social norms.
Not only is Edna's emerging sense of self revealed in this chapter, but also revealed is her unwillingness to give up this self that is becoming better known to her during this summer of awakening. Her sense of self is based on the sum of her private thoughts and unspoken emotions. Such thoughts constitute a self apart from her identity as a mother, an identity based on externals: certain behaviors, attitudes, and activities constitute motherhood for Edna, rather than an innate sense of connection with or responsibility for her children.
Edna broke free from the mold of her society. She was trying to find her purpose and her worth in a world where she did not have many rights or individual stability. Edna Pontellier worked to disregard the influence and power of men and society as a whole to discover more about herself and what she really wanted out of life (Bommarito). She gave up the “unessential” such as her home, possessions, and reputation to do things for
Chopin’s focuses were to show through these objects and literary symbols, the social injustices that women were going through. “The Awakening” begins with a parrot in a cage, which is supposed to be a representation of women of that time period. Just like parrots, women were annoying and were only displayed for their beauty. Moreover, women were trapped in cages which caused them to not be free. Since women were not free they remained trapped and imposed to the roles that society had labeled and stereotyped them to be. Edna Pontellier was only seen as a “valuable piece of property which [had] suffered some damaged” to her husband Mr. Pontellier (BOOK). One can also see that “The Awakening” also focused on the sexual desires of women, identity, and self-discovery Edna, a character in “The Awakening” experienced her awakening by discovering her identity in her own self. “The Awakening” attempts to tell the story a woman who wants to find herself while lusting. Later, at the end of the story, one discovers that since Edna Pontellier could not fully find her peace, and freedom she ultimately decides to commit suicide. Through this “The Awakening” shows that although women were oppressed, they also had empowerment. In the story, the only place where Edna could experience freedom and find her awakening was the sea. Thus, when she commits suicide one can see how the sea was the root for Edna finding her self-discovery. Through suicide individuals can see how it was the only escape for a woman who was living under oppression. Suicide not only shows that oppression was impossible to escape for a woman, but at the the same time it shows that suicide was the only way
describing the transformation that Edna Pontellier undergoes as she realizes that the conventions of her society have been constraining her from becoming her true, independent self. Edna’s awareness of her duality of self, her private emotional life, and the loneliness that accompanies her newfound freedom are all clear evidence that she truly becomes enlightened and revived by the end of the novel. The inability of the other characters in this novel to hinder Edna’s transformation is a reflection of society’s complete powerlessness against the inner flame of emotion
Kate Chopin’s The Awakening epitomizes the type of a novel where the main character uncovers his or her true identity and person. Mrs. Pontellier, the main character, risks her well-being, livelihood, and life to find her purpose. She breaks barriers and societal standards in order to attain her desired self. The reader engages with the work alongside Edna as she travels on the path of self discovery. The intrigued audience continues the journey with Mrs. Pontellier by deducing the hidden meanings in the actions that she takes. However, the internal awakening that occurs still seems to maintain the suspense and climax
Throughout the 1800s, gender roles were very strict and rarely questioned. Along with holding their families and homes as their highest priorities, women were also expected to be submissive to their husbands and continuously look presentable. It was quite strange for women to step outside of the harsh boundaries that were deemed as socially acceptable for them. Throughout Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening,” Edna Pontellier pushes against the perimeters set for her as a woman and works to establish herself as an individual rather than a cog in a social machine. In the short story, Chopin employs Léonce Pontellier,
In the novel The Awakening by Kate Chopin, the main character, Edna faces many challenges that she has to overcome. While trying to overcome them, she makes decisions that not only effect her life, but the lives of others. Edna Pontellier is a woman that grew up in the late 1800s who tries to break away from the normal gender roles of this time period. She does this by separating herself from her home, husband, children and by acknowledging her sexual desires. A lot of people do not agree with Edna's actions because they feel as if she is abandoning her children and ignoring her responsibilities. As Edna's attorney I am here to prove that although Edna has acted in a questionable manor, everything she has done was for her independence and happiness
The rebirth of the unknown outshines wisdom and understanding of the social aspects of life. Through life experiences an individual’s conscience is filed with unanswered questions being chained down to society. The life of a woman during the 1800s has chained down to responsibilities and duties to fulfill. In the novel “Awakening by Kate Chopin ‘protagonist Edna Pontellier is victimized by the rules and aspects of society that seem to overshadow self-identity.
A woman with an independent nature can be described as rebellious, passionate, and courageous. In Kate Chopin’s novel, The Awakening, the reader is introduced to Edna Pontellier, a female who epitomizes the qualities of a woman with such an independent nature. Living in a “patriarchal society” that expects women to be nothing more than devoted wives and nurturing mothers, Edna attempts to seek out her true identity as it becomes apparent how unsettled she feels about her life. Throughout The Awakening, Edna Pontellier, dissatisfied with her duties as a mother and wife, decides to pursue her own interests and express her true identity, resulting in an awakening and her finding the courage to make the changes she deems as necessary.