Summary Of Kate Chopin's The Awakening

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Kate Chopin writes in The Awakening (1899) about women and their identity in society. The book starts as the main character, Edna Pontellier, is vacationing with in the Grand Isle, where she meets a man by the name of Robert Lebrun. It is with Robert that Edna realizes what true happiness is and begins to get a glimpse of the independence she, unbeknownst to her, desires. Edna gained a sense of self worth and awareness while in the Grand Isle and Mr. Pontellier noticed this. Mr. Pontellier goes as far to ask a doctor of why Edna is acting so strange. The doctor rejected any ideas that Edna may be sick and actually mentions that she has a lot more color in her cheeks. Though married to Mr. Pontellier, Edna and Robert begin to talk of a wedding and this pushes Edna to realize that she wants to belong to herself, rather than needing to belong to another man. Edna leaves for her friend, Adele,…show more content…
It is as if having something so perfect in the palm of one’s hands and then having it torn away from one in the blink of an eye. She has found independence and wishes to keep hold of it through all circumstances. Mike Timko wrote his concerns with the lack of female freedom from societal, especially masculine, directives (Timko par. 6). Timko noticed how throughout the book, Edna was being suppressed by her husband and that it is rather unfortunate that the idea of male dominance is so widely accepted at that time. Towards the end of the book, Edna says: “I am no longer one of Mr. Pontellier’s possessions,” here, Edna is claiming that she is for herself, not for anyone to take a hold of (Chopin 146). She is realizing that she has the power to give herself what she needs.. She realizes that the male dominance overpowering women takes that sense of self independence away and begins to realize that finding independence will be a continuous uphill
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