Edna Pontellier's Character In 'The Awakening'

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McKenna Martin Mrs. Schroder AP Literature 3 January 2018 The Awakening Outside Essay - 1999 Prompt 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. From the beginning of the novel, there is a sense of tension between Mr. and Mrs. Pontellier. Mrs. Pontellier is first seen with a man named Robert coming from the beach and when she gets back, Mr. Pontellier hands her rings back to her. An aura of suspicion settles in as we see Mrs. Pontellier…show more content…
Adele has her sewing and Madame Reisz has her piano playing. One day, Edna agrees to go swimming with Robert. This experience awakens something inside her. She realizes swimming in the sea is some kind of escape for her. She can forget about all her responsibilities as a wife and a mother for a little while and just focus on herself. After swimming successfully, she develops feelings for Robert. After this awakening, Edna starts to step back and rethink her entire life; her marriage, her role, and even herself. She realizes she feels sort of imprisoned in this life she has had for so long. Edna finally starts doing things for her, she is letting herself feel an attraction for another man even though she is married and she also gets into art and has everyone in the house model for her. Rather than doing things to get the house ready for her husband or spending time playing with her children, she is distracted by all her newly found…show more content…
Edna broke free from the mold of her society. She was trying to find her purpose and her worth in a world where she did not have many rights or individual stability. Edna Pontellier worked to disregard the influence and power of men and society as a whole to discover more about herself and what she really wanted out of life (Bommarito). She gave up the “unessential” such as her home, possessions, and reputation to do things for
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