Edna's Obsession In The Awakening

618 Words3 Pages

Throughout the beginnings of both stories, both Edna and the narrator explore new surroundings as they find their obsession, yet the situations that lead to the discovery of their manias cause the characters to appreciate the infatuation in different regards. Edna’s ironic attraction to the ocean begins with her inability to swim, as “Edna had attempted all summer to learn to swim... A certain ungovernable dread hung about her when in the water, unless there was a hand nearby that might reach out and reassure her” (Chopin 36). The ultimate subject of Edna’s attention was originally something she despised and had distaste for. This perspective allows for an objective view of the temptation of the ocean, something that Edna succumbs to later …show more content…

From her first positive encounter with the ocean, Edna immediately wants to be enveloped into its tempting embrace. The sensuous sound of the surf constantly beckons and seduces Edna throughout the novel, allowing for her to be influenced by the feminist ideals represented by it. Edna chooses to be near her obsession, the sea, in order to find clarity in her times of turmoil. Albeit Edna chose her obsession, the narrator is introduced to her obsession because she is forced to be near it, and in the depths of her hatred stemmed her infatuation with the wallpaper. Her relationship with the wallpaper is darker and more primal than Edna’s relationship with the sea. It stems from morbid curiosity brought on by her postpartum depression, which enticed the narrator into reflections about the nature of the paper and the woman trapped inside of it. The first instance where she viewed the wallpaper, she noticed that it was “One of those flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin… The color is repellent, almost revolting; a smouldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning

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