Moral Ambiguity In Kate Chopin's The Awa

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Often times, literary works can easily distinguish between a good character or an evil character. Other times, a character can be very complex, which makes it difficult to characterize the character as good or evil. This complex character complex is known as Moral Ambiguity. In other words, readers are discouraged from identifying a character as purely good or evil. One particular character that can be views as morally ambiguous is a woman named Edna Pontellier. Edna from Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening” can be perceived as morally ambiguous because of her affiliations with other men, and role-defying actions; however, both contribute to “The Awakening” as a whole. Due to Edna being romantically involved with Robert, she can be perceived as morally…show more content…
Edna even says herself, “I would give up the unessential…my money…my life for my children, but not myself.” For her life, Edna realized that means her marriage and physical life. As far as her marriage, Edna was never truly happy with her marriage with Leonce. Furthermore, Edna states she truly cares for her children, but sometimes her search for herself may conflict with this. This then further discourages readers even more due to the fact that this gives insight to her actions, and somewhat justifies them. In addition, the search for self-identity is viewed as important in today’s society. Thus, these confliction attributes lead the reader to identify Edna as morally ambiguous. Categorizing complex characters as purely good or purely evil is not one of the easiest of tasks. As a result, it is best to characterize them as morally ambiguous. In Edna’s case, she is morally ambiguous due to her romantic affiliations and role-defying actions, but both are immensely vital to Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening” as a complete whole. In fact, a majority of literary characters and real-life people are so complex that it is impossible to distinguish them as a good or bad person. This simply means people are complex in many ways, but at the end of the day, each contribute to a bigger meaning or
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