The sea is a vast, mysterious place. The water gets deeper and deeper as one swims further out into the depths of the sea, being unaware of the creatures lurking beneath their feet. Just as Edna goes on with her life, she goes deeper into her awakening. In The Awakening, Edna did not want to be confined to society’s rules, she wanted to determine her own fate. Edna therefore, ends her own life in the water of Grand Isle in which her rebirth and awakening had
Kate Chopin's The Great Awakening explains how Edna Pontellier, an everyday woman of the nineteenth century, opens up and explores herself. A majority of the important characters in her story are the men in Edna's life. Men like Leonce, Robert, and Alcee all are key pieces to her awakening. They all influence Edna in their own ways.
[The story was written by Kate Chopin. She is known for her intelligence, freedom and her style of writing. Because of the life she had lived, she became a strong person. And because she could raise five children by her own, she started to write novels and short stories. the awakening considers as a turning point in her life. A turning point must be a positive word for anybody but in Kate Chopin’s case it was never a good thing. For the time she wrote that story, it was never accepted to question or even to write ideas that is against the societies believes. 1899 The Awakening published by Herbert S. Stone and Company on April 22. The tale is about a young woman (Edna Pontellier) the protagonist of the story, who struggles to find her identity and her artistic ability. A woman who grew up in a conservative society. She was married to and as Kate Chopin describe in the novel (the perfect man) who’s everybody in love with, and she had two kids. Even with this normal life, it was never good or enough for Edna. She always felt like this is not what she wanted to do with her life. And even though she knew that she is married to the best man but, he was never the man of her life.]
Women during Edna’s time were supposed to be dedicated to their husbands and children, however, Edna yearned for her own independence, and as a result of wanting her own independence Edna knew that she was seen as a terrible person. For instance Edna wanted to “…try to determine what character of a woman I am; for, candidly, I don't know. By all the codes which I am acquainted with, I am a devilishly wicked specimen of the sex. But some way I can't convince myself that I am. I must think about it" (27.4). Edna fully understands that society would brand her as a terrible woman, but she does not view herself as a bad person. There is an external and internal difference that Edna hopes to one day reconcile. Chopin, instead of creating tension within Edna, created tension within the society and Edna with her newfound independence does not mind how society classifies her.
In the 1800’s, the societal niche of married women was clearly defined: they were meant to devote every aspect of their lives to their husbands and children. Edna Pontellier, the protagonist in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, struggles to adhere to these standards, and eventually rebels against them. The harsh standards placed on Edna and other women in the novel are like the cages around the metaphorical birds Chopin uses to represent them. Edna's unhappiness in her societal role is realized in the ocean, which symbolizes this awakening and her attempt to escape the gender roles of the nineteenth century. The images of birds and the ocean are used to show the harsh standards placed on Edna and other women in the nineteenth century.
The Awakening showcases Edna Pontellier, a housewife residing in New Orleans, Louisiana during the early 1900s. Edna Pontellier is married to Leonce Pontellier and they have two sons together. Edna is consumed in internal conflicts throughout the entire novel. She is trying to find herself in a society where she has many duties and responsibilities.
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
Chopin’s focuses were to show through these objects and literary symbols, the social injustices that women were going through. “The Awakening” begins with a parrot in a cage, which is supposed to be a representation of women of that time period. Just like parrots, women were annoying and were only displayed for their beauty. Moreover, women were trapped in cages which caused them to not be free. Since women were not free they remained trapped and imposed to the roles that society had labeled and stereotyped them to be. Edna Pontellier was only seen as a “valuable piece of property which [had] suffered some damaged” to her husband Mr. Pontellier (BOOK). One can also see that “The Awakening” also focused on the sexual desires of women, identity, and self-discovery Edna, a character in “The Awakening” experienced her awakening by discovering her identity in her own self. “The Awakening” attempts to tell the story a woman who wants to find herself while lusting. Later, at the end of the story, one discovers that since Edna Pontellier could not fully find her peace, and freedom she ultimately decides to commit suicide. Through this “The Awakening” shows that although women were oppressed, they also had empowerment. In the story, the only place where Edna could experience freedom and find her awakening was the sea. Thus, when she commits suicide one can see how the sea was the root for Edna finding her self-discovery. Through suicide individuals can see how it was the only escape for a woman who was living under oppression. Suicide not only shows that oppression was impossible to escape for a woman, but at the the same time it shows that suicide was the only way
Identity: Edna suffers a sort of identity crisis throughout the novel. She no longer wants to be the perfect “mother woman” and decides to try and find her independence
“He reproached his wife with her inattention, her habitual neglect of the children. If it was not a mother's place to look after children, whose on earth was it” (Chopin 5)? In The Awakening, Edna’s husband Leonce directs his wife’s attention to his displeasure with her lack of responsibility for their children to display his dominance as a man in the Victorian Era. Although biologically Edna is a mother; she finds it hard to be a motherly woman without giving up her own set of personal beliefs and values entirely. Kate Chopin uses setting, characterization, and symbolism in The Awakening to show how gender roles force both men and women to conform to the stereotypes within society and the difficulty involved in doing so.
At the end of the novel when Philip “had come home and found his wife in her brothers arms” it signifies how the patriarchal family that he has created has been undermined. (P.196) Also, as it has happened in the kitchen a very public part of the house is quite important. The kitchen is the centre of domestic life where everybody comes together, and it is the only place in the house where Melanie would feel safe and warm. However Philip changes this mood and it becomes uncomfortable. He cannot stand that he has been undermined so he sets the house on fire. “A floor caved in inside the house with a gush of fire. All burning, everything, toys and puppets and masks and chairs and …Edward Bear burning, with her pyjamas in his stomach…At night,
In conclusion, Greenblatt states that culture is defined as a collection of infinite guidelines and regulations that people within a society follow. These guidelines and regulations are, however, inconsequential without cultural boundaries and limitations. In The Awakening Kate Chopin conveys how the novel strikes in opposition to society’s standards through the characters of Edna Pontellier and Robert Lebrun.
Edna starts the novel a devoted wife who is concerned with pleasing her husband along with keeping up appearances. As she falls in love with Robert, she is more aware of her sexuality and decides she rather please herself, than her family. So she abandons her wifely and motherly duties to pursue this relationship by moving out and refusing to raise her children. She then continued to pursue Robert but did not want to marry him because she doesn’t want him to own her. Her headstrong ways continue throughout the novel but she realizes she cant handle the isolation and ends up killing herself.
Kate Chopin uses Adele to describe how a typical dedicated wife should treat her husband and children. Edna is not Creole and she does not treat her husband and her children right. Adele and Edna were different in many ways because of the way they both react to the nineteenth century expectation “ a mother - woman” she idolizes her children and worships her husband. Edna is the opposite of Adele, She does not worry about her children and she is not devoted to her husband. Kate Chopin uses what is happening in in
A woman with an independent nature can be described as rebellious, passionate, and courageous. In Kate Chopin’s novel, The Awakening, the reader is introduced to Edna Pontellier, a female who epitomizes the qualities of a woman with such an independent nature. Living in a “patriarchal society” that expects women to be nothing more than devoted wives and nurturing mothers, Edna attempts to seek out her true identity as it becomes apparent how unsettled she feels about her life. Throughout The Awakening, Edna Pontellier, dissatisfied with her duties as a mother and wife, decides to pursue her own interests and express her true identity, resulting in an awakening and her finding the courage to make the changes she deems as necessary.