External Expectations In Kate Chopin's The Awakening

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As people grow old they tend to realize the mistakes they have made in life and try to make up for them. These realizations are mostly internal; however, there could be some external manifestations. The Awakening, by Kate Chopin shows how Edna has a realization that having a family is not what she wanted in life. Chopin is able to create a feeling of suspense and excitement through this event by illustrating Edna’s inner thoughts, including her past, the way she starts to act towards others and demonstrating the steps she takes towards freeing herself up. A reflection of Edna's past is described in the novel in order to represent how she wants to go back to her old self. When Edna is going to the beach with Madame Ratignolle, she starts getting lost in her thoughts about the time she “was running away from prayers” and how she was a “little unthinking child in those days” (20). The fact that Edna was thinking about her past, gives the story a sense of suspense because she is thinking about the time when she was free to do anything and she had no…show more content…
She tells Madame Ratignolle, “I would give up the unessential; I would give my money, I would give my life for my children; but I wouldn't give myself. I can't make it more clear; it's only something which I am beginning to comprehend, which is revealing itself to me” (52). This lets the readers know that Edna is starting to acknowledge that she cannot dedicate all of her time to her children and that she's not willing to sacrifice herself for them. This action displays how Edna's attitude towards others around her is changing and how she does not want to have the responsibility of taking care of her family because it would mean that she has to dedicate her time and space to them which would mean that she would be giving herself up for the sake of the
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