Edna Pontellier's Suicide Analysis

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In the novel, The Awakening by Kate Chopin, the main character, Edna Pontellier, makes the decision to become a completely independent by straying away from the restraints placed onto her by her husband, children and society. In the end of the novel, the audience is left to determine why Edna decides to commit suicide. The predominant reason Chopin reveals throughout the novel is the idea that suicide is a way for Edna to escape the confined life she was living and truly become the free woman she is dreaming of becoming.
Since Edna lived during a time during women were oppressed in every way possible, Edna’s search for freedom is limited. According to Mary Bird, women were considered to be a piece of property to their husbands, which is very
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This realization causes her to start making changes within herself. One of these changes included finding a new sense of confidence that allows her to take a stand against her husband. ‘”Are you coming in Léonce?” she asked turning her face toward her husband.’ (Chopin, 35) Although she made such a change, Edna did not realize she was not strong enough to completely go against society and her husband. Edna is also growing tired of having to fight against society and others that are trying to take advantage of her. According to the novel, in chapter twenty-six, Alcée Arobin, one of Edna’s love affairs, starts to take advantage of her when she is too tired to fight him off and stand up for herself. Not only did Alcée see that she is not strong enough to follow through with her fight for freedom, so did Mademoiselle Reisz, a friend of Edna’s. “The bird that would soar above the level of plain tradition and prejudice must have strong wings” (Chopin, 90) Mademoiselle Reisz understands that although Edna wishes to become a free and independent woman, she still happens to not be powerful enough to overcome the obstacles that stood in her way of this
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