Edna's Characterization In The Awakening

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Edna’s characterization throughout The Awakening, by Kate Chopin, describes Edna as someone with burning passion who desires to improve not only her life, but the lives of future generations. However Edna’s actions make her often seem weak to the oppressive people around her; sometimes, and in this case unfortunately, good ideas and beliefs are stopped cold by one’s surrounding influences. Edna’s feminist attitude, though formidable, is no match for the individuals who accept the current society’s customs. I find Edna to be a weak person from a general standpoint. However the story masks this obviousness fact by illustrating some of Edna’s questionable actions. Some of Edna’s most obvious decisions immediately question her weakness to handle pressure. Edna’s inability to show compassion and care for her children challenge this normalcy for a mother of the time period; Edna considered her children “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 115). The children almost seemed like a burden, or a detriment to her. Edna’s doctor visit nearly foreshadows this mindset, where the doctor notes that…show more content…
Her ability to swim starts in chapter 10, and ironically Edna’s happiness then eventually leads to her bismal ending in chapter 39. Another interesting example is Edna’s relationships with Arobin and Robert, where Edna chooses to act rebellious and choose her own terms for two affair-like relationships. Either case, Edna felt “as if a mist had been lifted from her eyes, enabling her to took upon and comprehend the significance of life, that monster made up of beauty and brutality” (Chopin 84). Her relationships tore her emotions apart, but in the process angered and falsely strengthened her; this is an example of the “masking” of her characteristics. In reality, Robert and Arobin
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