Edna Pontellier, the main character in Kate Chopin’s, The Awakening, is portrayed as an incredibly independent woman and one who tends to reject almost all traditional societal norms, and instead chooses to fight her way towards emancipation from her husband, a foreign concept during the time period in which this novel was written in. Edna’s struggles to gain this independence so strives so strongly for, and in doing so she manages to separate herself from her husband, and reunite with a lover, Robert, from her past that she had forsaken when she married. All these events that work to emancipate Edna from her former life and get her the freedom she craves, ultimately leads her to her unpredicted suicide. While the motives of her suicide seems to be confusing, when looking into this issue more indepthly, Edna’s motives for killing herself can be more easily understood. …show more content…
While not only, knocking the idea of traditional female ideals, she also gets the chance to show her absolute disdain for commitment in marriage, most likely due to her affair with the man she truly loved, Robert. When Edna’s husband decides to leave her alone and goes on an extended trip, she finally puts her words of dissatisfaction into action and, as an act against societal norms and traditional obedient women ideals, moves out of the house that she shares with her husband, and instead, lives on her own in order to become more independant. A woman having any type of independence during this time period was a completely radical idea, and she struggles to find a normal
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. Chapter one of The Awakening begins the story with several examples of how Edna does not fit in with her society.
The ending of Kate Chopin's novel “The Awakening” has been long debated over whether or not the main character Edna commits suicide in the end. Many critics and readers argue that her death, in the end, was not intentional and rather the consequence of her actions. Others believe that she never actually died in the end and the book ends before she swims back to shore. Contrary to these ideas, I think that Edna's suicide was intentional as she had planned it right after she found Robert's notes saying he was leaving. She planned the suicide that night not specifically wanting to die but feeling as if she had no other choice and death was her last hope at an “awakening”.
Edna Pontellier dreams of breaking free from her social status, as a wife of a wealthy husband, with two children, in the Victorian era. While most women of the time would crave this seemingly perfect life, the protagonist of Kate Chopin’s novel, The Awakening, comes to the realization that she would much rather bare independence than a name for herself. Edna befriends artist and feminist, Mademoiselle Reisz, and through multiple affairs, moving into a “Pigeon House,” and pursuing a passion of painting, she begins to get a sense of what is truly important to her; this being self-reliance. Throughout the course of the novel, Mrs. Pontellier grapples with the idea of becoming a self-sufficient woman, and Chopin uses the motif of birds --various
In the book “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin, the main character Edna Pontellier, is faced with many troubles. One of her troubles is the internal conflict of her facing herself and realizing her own identity. She is constantly under pressure to be the person she is expected to be by her peers, friends, and family. She ultimately does being to break free and find her identity even if it did mean that she must kill herself in order to do so. Edna is constantly under pressure from all of the people around her.
Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, is a controversial novel due to the suicide of the protagonist, Edna Pontellier, as well as the lofty concepts and ideologies that the book conveys. Throughout the novel there are multiple indicators including themes, symbols, and contextualization that provide evidence that Edna made an impartial decision and intentionally committed suicide, knowing that she would do so before she even entered the water. Critics have wrestled with this concept, as well as counter arguments that imply that Edna’s suicide was unforeseen, and developed in-depth analysis’ that support and sometimes oppose the idea that Edna Pontellier deliberately entered the water knowing that she would kill herself. Multiple themes are present throughout
Edna constantly struggles to realize her true desires and to understand her inner emotions and personal preferences. Part of her is always trying to establish a new outer persona while also trying to determine what she wants on the inside. She has an inner conflict between loving her family and showing compassion for them, or facing her honest yearning for a different lifestyle, breaking away from the expectations and standards of society. In the end, this internal argument causes her to fully realize that in her time period, what she truly wants is unattainable, especially after dealing with rejection from Robert and disappointment in her marriage. Overall, Mrs. Pontellier is trying to be herself in a world where a pre-existing set of rules already determine who she
Acceptance, freedom, love, and lust, these conflicts arise in The Awakening by Kate Chopin as Edna Pontellier struggles with her internal conflicts. Chopin uses foils to demonstrate her evolution in the novel. In a time where women are expected to be subordinate, Edna begins to defy the standards and her oppressive husband. Compliance and individualism are exemplified by two polar characters: Adèle Ratignolle and Mademoiselle Reisz. These women act as foils and provide references to the reader in understanding Edna’s awakening.
It is common for people in everyday society to conform to society’s expectations while also questioning their true desires. In the novel, The Awakening, by Kate Chopin, the main protagonist Edna Pontellier is said to possess, "That outward existence which conforms, the inward life that questions." In other words, Edna outwardly conforms while questioning inwardly. Kate Chopin, uses this tension between outward conformity and inward questioning to build the meaning of the novel by examining Edna’s role as a wife, mother, and as nontraditional woman in the traditional Victorian period. Edna outwardly conforms to society’s expectations by marriage.
The Awakening Promt #5 I think that Edna’s suicide was due more to her failure to escape from what she was supposed to do as a mother and a housewife, especially when she lost Robert, than giving up and giving herself to the sea. There were many times where she has neglected to be a good mother to her children and a good housewife. Just as in chapter three page 5, she doesn’t even notice or seem to care that her child has a fever. In chapter seven page 18, she would sometimes forget her children and she even felt their absence as a relief.
The Death of Edna Pontellier The struggles of Edna Pontellier throughout her everyday life in a society that she feels she doesn’t belong in, is developed through the writing of Kate Chopin. As her character develops, Edna’s final decision of suicide illustrates her defeat in the face of society. In, The Awakening, Kate Chopin employs poetic diction and anaphora to emphasize and illuminate Edna’s awakening and how her death positively affected her character development.
Edna is the main character in the novel who sacrifices herself in the biggest way possible. She realizes that she cannot face the terms of motherhood and the forced marriage to Leonce Pontellier. Edna wants to be the independent women that she isn’t allowed to be, which the meaning of The Awakening is that people cannot be forced to be in a relationship with a person they don’t truly love. Towards the end of the book after Robert leaves her and as she thinks about her life and the events that have happened that she regretted.
Sacrifice In the book The Awakening Edna Pontellier sacrifices who she is to try to be a mother-woman. In her society and life she is expected to be the caring wife who takes care of the children and her husband. However, Edna sacrifices her character, dreams and freedom because she is trying to fit in. Edna Pontellier is a mother of two in the south during a time period in which women are expected to be obedient, lady-like and caretakers.
The Awakening is a book written by Kate Chopin and it is quite a journey. Being just over a hundred pages in length, this novel gives an adequate picture of the protagonist Edna Pontellier, who consistently challenges the roles that society has placed on her. In her own words, she says “I would give my life for my children, but I wouldn’t give myself ” (45). This not only foreshadows her ultimate fate, but it also shows the readers that Edna is not willing to suppress her passions and desires for anybody. It appears that Chopin is making the argument in her book that Edna’s form of resistance, while admirable, comes at a price.
Edna goes through an awakening process in which she changes her life. Edna experiences a kiss with a man that is not her husband, this is the first experience she has that goes against the female ideals of her time (Chopin 139). Edna already shows signs of going against the grain of her society before this experience, but this experience sets her wants and needs for a more free life. A more free life from the confines of mother and wife.
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.