How Is Edna Pontellier A Dynamic Character

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“As long as she thinks of a man, nobody objects to a woman thinking.”(Virginia Woolf). During the late 1800’s, early 1900’s, and even today many people still believe this quote to be true. Stating that a women in order to be respected and successful needs a to be married or have a man in her life. Author Kate Chopin, defies these standards through her character Edna Pontellier in her novel The Awakening. Many years after The Awakening was written President Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave his “Four Freedoms” speech. Although,when the President spoke about freedom from fear he was referring to the Nazi Party and Germany , the fear that Edna Pontellier faces throughout the story is her fear to express herself and her underlying want to break gender …show more content…

By the end of the novel Edna sees the world through completely different eyes. At the beginning of the story Edna is a respectable, stereotypical women of this time period. She suppresses all of her feelings and desires and lives her life through her husband. She is not a confident woman in any aspects of her life, appearance especially. Chopin describes her even in the first scene as misunderstood. “Mrs. Pontellier was not a woman given to confidences, a characteristic hitherto contrary to her nature. Even as a child she had lived her own small life all within herself.” (Chopin pg.14). But while speaking to Adele Ratignolle about her youth, Edna begins to reveal her desire for romance and freedom. She continues to explain how marrying Mr. Pontellier killed her desire for romance and true love, and how her marriage basically ended her ability to fulfill her want for romance. Edna devoted herself to her husband like every other woman did. Chopin begins to develop Edna’s character by introducing Robert Lebrun. While Edna rediscovers her suppressed feelings for Robert, her character develops into a woman who is not afraid to express her sexuality and her want for freedom. With her new found confidence she swims out in the sea by herself trying to find her own freedom. From that moment on Edna becomes the independent woman that was not recognized as respectable in this time. When she returns from her awakening at

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