Sources Of Edna Pontellier's Suicide

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Sources of Edna’s suicide It is unarguable that during the 19th century women were restricted from freedom and having a mind of their own. Women were always expected to live according to society’s rules. An author, who some may consider a feminist, named Kate Chopin wrote a novel titled The awakening that capture the struggle of women and expectations put on them by society. The novel features a married woman named Edna who is in search of selfhood, independence, empowerment, and freedom but would soon realize that self-happiness would not come easy when you depend on others and your expectations of life. Kate Chopin chose an ambiguous ending for her novel which was Edna committing suicide lead many to create theories as to why she committed…show more content…
The Pontellier’s are high in social status and are viewed a certain way by society. Mr. Pontellier takes pride in his wife and lavish house seeing them as his prized possessions. Every Tuesday the Pontelliers would host receptions at their home but at one particular party Edna had an awakening. After dinner Edna goes to her room and removes her wedding ring in hopes of destroying it but failed to do so because it symbolizes her dependency on Leonce. As stated in the novel “But her small boot heel did not make an indenture not a mark upon the circlet” (Chopin 57). Those proves the thesis because it shows the attachment she will always have to Leonce because she does not feel strong enough to leave the marriage. Another example of Edna’s forced dependency to Leonce is the expectation of married women by society. During that era women had little to no rights and were expected to abide by the strict societal rules. According to Mary Bird’s essay “Women had no rights, and were legally bound to do whatever their husbands decided was best”. This proves that Edna’s dependency on her husband was not by choice rather by society. As one can see Edna never had total independence because of those societal…show more content…
Edna falls in love with Robert and is starting to find her selfhood as her passion for him grows. Robert awakened the loving and passionate side of Edna and she starts to see a future with him. Robert decides to put some space between him and Edna because he realized that he could not be fully committed to married woman in that society. As quoted in the novel “I love you-Goodby because I love you” (Chopin 125). Robert leaving puts Edna in disbelief because she depended on Robert’s love to live up to that expectation of the love life she desperately wanted with Robert. This could proves the thesis because it shows that Edna failed to meet her expectation concerning Robert. In addition to Edna finding her selfhood she feels as though her process is now in vain because of Robert leaving her in despair. According to Neal Wyatt’s critical essay “Edna had awakened, found her selfhood only to have that process and victory denied by Robert” (Skaggs). This express how the expectations Edna had for her self-happiness has failed which proves the thesis. As the reader can see Edna depended on Robert for happiness in her love life but because her expectations failed she was left with discouragement. Lastly, it is evident that Edna depended on Adele Ratignolle to fulfill that role of a mother-woman that Edna needs in her life. Edna’s father, the Colonel, comes to town and visits Edna. While in
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