Internal Discoveries In Kate Chopin's The Awakening

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Abby Kidder Mrs. Schroder Advanced Placement Literature and Composition 3 January 2018 Mrs. Pontellier’s Internal Discoveries Kate Chopin’s The Awakening epitomizes the type of a novel where the main character uncovers his or her true identity and person. Mrs. Pontellier, the main character, risks her well-being, livelihood, and life to find her purpose. She breaks barriers and societal standards in order to attain her desired self. The reader engages with the work alongside Edna as she travels on the path of self discovery. The intrigued audience continues the journey with Mrs. Pontellier by deducing the hidden meanings in the actions that she takes. However, the internal awakening that occurs still seems to maintain the suspense and climax…show more content…
Reading very descriptive accounts of intimate feelings and thoughts continually engages the audience. When swimming for the first time by herself, Edna ruminates about the water and the peacefulness, “She turned her face seaward to gather in an impression of space and solitude, which the vast expanse of water, meeting and melting with the moonlit sky, conveyed to her excited fancy” (37). Her thoughts about her first time swimming on her own intertwine with the physical sensations that she felt. However, the reader supports her and wants her to realize the her own strengths to swim, and live, on her own. This moment energizes the reader and makes he or she want to continue the novel to inquire if Edna actually attains her independence. After Edna and Robert finally kiss, Edna, overcome with her emotions, states her concerns, “A vision - a transcendently seductive vision of a Mexican girl arose before her. She writhed with a jealous pang” (139). This amount of revelation and resentment intensifies the reader’s emotions. Without this important detail provided, the emotional connection between Robert and Edna, would lack strength. The reveal of this jealousy would only work sensibly while revealed in a moment of self searching and reflection. Edna, at this time, has set her sights on what she wants, obtaining true love. In…show more content…
The pivotal milestones of Edna’s discoveries would have less impact if not presented in the way which occurs. Mrs. Pontellier venturing out into the ocean appears as one of her first major realizations. She swims on her own and laughs at herself for not accomplishing this activity before by herself. This parallels her own life and when her mind quickly shifts to thinking of death, she escapes the waters (37). Another critical moment occurs when she concludes her infatuation with Robert means more than originally thought and that she would miss him dearly while he moved to Mexico (61). Then Edna also comes to the understanding that the house she lives in with her husband does not feel like home. The possessions and money that fill the house constantly remind her that she has no materialistic belongings of her own. Therefore, she decides to move out and create her own personal haven (107). With clear eyes after having relationships with three men she realizes that she actually loves only one of them and she makes a hasty decision when she cannot physically have Robert (113). Finally, after giving up hope for a future with Robert, she decides to end her pain forever by walking into the “ocean 's abyss” (157). This timeline of her awakenings contributes to the climax because throughout the novel the reader invests emotion into seeing if Edna can escape the societal
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