Upon returning to New Orleans, Edna, and her new awakened self, begins to act in an uncharacterized way. She consistently thinks of Robert, who left to Vera Cruz after the summer at Grand Isle, and finds out that she does not love her husband. She also begins to have an affair and then decides to move out of her husband’s house. The novel ends with her deciding to go back to Grand Isle swimming into the ocean until she grows exhausted and ultimately ends her life.
She even committed suicide due to the fact of how badly she needed to free herself from the Creole lifestyle. Edna, a remarkable lady in a sense, rebelled against the norms of society to openly be herself. People like Edna, or people brave enough to take a chance to change societal norms, come rare to find, especially during the late 1800’s. Edna never agreed to anything she did not want, after the marriage to Leonce, and was quite straight-forward with her desires. Edna, ideally, is a great role model to look up to in today’s world for filling that brave, young woman role to not let society shape her, despite the few occurrences she had intimate moments with multiple men or her carelessness towards her children.
Readers only know Edna is having an affair with her husband. Edna grows a strong fondness over a young man named Robert, creating a sense of tension and suspense whenever Mr. Pontellier is brought up in the novella. Alcée Arobin is another man Edna grows a liking for later on in the novella while Robert is in Mexico and Mr. Pontellier in New York on a business trip. Edna and Alcée have a flirtatious relationship while Edna’s crush and husband are away, causing excitement to the novella because Edna is stirring up more drama in her life. The sexual awakening Edna experienced caused her desires for lust and love to heighten.
While home alone, Edna frequently attends horse races with Alcee Acrobin and Mrs. Highcamp. Acrobin builds a romantic interest in Edna and one day kisses her hand. With that kiss Edna feels unfaithful, not to Leonce, but to Robert. She instantly tells Acrobin that she is done attending horse races and that he is not permitted to
Edna Pontellier is isolated from the secular society in which she lives. Her “pigeon house”, feelings towards her husband and children, and her independent spirit set her apart from the other women of the twentieth century. Edna’s isolation highlights the values of society at the time such as the importance of a person’s outward appearance. Overwhelmed by her husband’s extravagant house, Edna decides to buy her own house when her husband and children are away.
From the first chapter, Edna thinks she will find freedom with her new husband Leonce. But, she does not find freedom at all with Leonce. She tries moving to the pigeon house for freedom after that. This house ends up being a type of ‘’birdcage’’, that she cannot seem to escape. Finally, Robert Lebrun comes into Edna’s life. She thinks that he is now her way to freedom.
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.
This does not effect the way Edna feels though, and eventually concludes with an affair with Robert. These affairs Edna becomes intertwined with is her greatest disregard for her husband, as well as, her attempt to become happy with who she is. Edna eventually realizes that she is her own person and is not the property of any man in society. She reacts to this by buying a different house with money she inherited from her mother, earned from her art, as well as, gambling on horse races. In actuality all the money belongs to her husband, because woman can not own property.
Yet, she is dragged back into the roles society places on her. Her relationship with Robert comes to a bitter ending, as Robert ultimately wants marriage. Edna is “no longer one of Mr. Pontellier’s possessions to dispose of or not. [She] give[‘s] [herself] where [she] choose[s]. If he were to say, ‘Here, Robert, take her and be happy, she is yours,’ [she] should laugh at you both.”
If he were to say, ‘Here Robert, take her and be happy; she is yours,’ I should laugh at both of you. Robert was surprised by what Edna said what she feels about him and dismayed by the disregard it expresses for him and his needs. She found out that Robert was no one special and ended up being like her “husband” Léonce. She was trapped, shackled by society and its expectations and the providers of these shackles are not the men but the boys. Edna had no escape for any of this since what just happened to her, it made no difference to her if she did anything different and she’ll never feel true
Setting: Grand Isle and New Orleans During the Late 19th Century Genre: Tragedy/ Literary Fiction Historical Information: Written during the height of female oppression Plot Summary: In the beginning of the novel we are met by Edna Pontellier who is accompanied by Robert Lebrun, who is known as a flirt. We know somethings up when the two return to the porch where Leonce Pontellier is waiting to return Edna's wedding rings to her. Edna and Robert spend an abundance of time together throughout the summer and they become very fond of each other however Adele Ratignolle, who is a close friend of Edna’s asks Robert to leave Edna alone because she fears that Edna will not be able to handle his flirty behavior. Robert doesn't listen to Adele because his normal flirting has turned into an actual love for Edna.
She also conflicts with her heart that wants to love and her mind that wants liberation for all. The climax took place when Edna was talking to Robert explaining to him that she was not an object to be passed around, this arose after Robert mentioned something about Mr. Pontellier setting her free. After telling Robert that she is a free person who can give herself to whoever she chooses, Robert leaves Edna because he cannot stand the idea of loving a woman who considers herself having the same privileges as him, a man. He refuses to love a lady who does not want to subordinate herself to men (Azad,
Edna begins with separating herself from the community in Grand Isle. She is “not thoroughly at home in the society of
Many individuals believe that we live in a perfect environment, without all of the violence or prejudice. The feminist group rejects that idea since the views of women in society is the man’s tool. To fight back this ideal, the people write stories with female protagonists who challenge the social norms, one example being Kate Chopin’s The Awakening. The novella gives life to the motherly Adele Ratignolle, the unconventional Reisz, and the stubborn protagonist Edna Pontellier. Mrs. Pontellier is a rebellious woman trapped in a strict culture who finds freedom during her vacation in Grand Isle.
Eventually Robert moves home, and Edna expresses how she feels, although Robert feels the same way he leaves her knowing that in the end they would never be able to be together. Ultimately, in the end when Edna commits suicide she is victorious in her “awakening.” Throughout the book, Edna makes decisions, such as moving out, that allow her to become more independent, eventually ending in victory when she decides that she is going to take her own life. Mr. Pontellier was away in New York on business leaving Edna at home by herself, when she makes the decision to buy another house and move out, basically leaving her husband.